- Takes note that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have nominated Traditional weaving of Al Sadu (no. 01586) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
Traditional weaving of Al Sadu refers to the traditional woven textile made by Bedouin women: in Arabic, ‘Al Sadu’ means weaving done in a horizontal style. The weaving is a form of warp-faced plain weave made on a ground loom. The cloth forms a tightly woven, durable textile and the weavers make use of natural fibres found in their natural environment. The patterns found in Bedouin weaving reflect the desert environment in its simple, pure form, featuring geometric designs combined to flow in rhythmic repetition and symmetry. Weavers also use bright colours such as reds and oranges to liven up the surroundings. The beauty of each woven item depends on the quality of the spinning and weaving and the expertise of the weaver – the finer the yarn, the more pronounced and delicate the structure and design pattern. The primary bearers of Al Sadu are older Bedouin women who are master weavers. Master weavers play a key role in transmitting the related skills to others, most often within the household. In addition, associations and educational organizations play an important role in passing on the skills and knowledge through classes or workshops. Today, bearers and practitioners weave Al Sadu either as a hobby or to sell it. Al Sadu objects reflect the importance of female roles in Bedouin society, and nowadays Al Sadu has become less a functional object and more an object signifying a tradition and a deep culture.
- Considers that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
R.1: Al Sadu is a traditional woven textile made by Bedouin women. The practitioners could be their daughters, women of their tribe, and other people interested in practising traditional handicrafts. The gender role is well demonstrated in the file; women of all ages have a crucial role in maintaining the element and developing it, which empowers them. The most prevalent way of transmitting the element is within the household, where grandmothers teach other women. Al Sadu embodies social relationships and family status. Today, Al Sadu has become more about aesthetic values with a historical connection. It is also environmentally friendly and compatible with sustainable development. The description of the element and the identification of the bearers mirror the dynamism of the practice over time thanks to its relationship with the social and natural environment.
R.4: The submitting States Parties have provided evidence of the involvement of the communities, groups and individuals concerned in the nomination process, both in each individual State and in the shared multinational file. The file provides a structured demonstration of how the communities, groups and individuals concerned participated. There is an elaborate illustration of the consent of the different people and actors involved, both in the nomination file itself and in the consent letters delivered by both States Parties. Most of the attached consents are from women of all ages, who have a crucial role in maintaining and further developing the element. The submitting States Parties have declared that there are no restrictions or customary practices governing access to the element.
R.5: In Saudi Arabia, the element was included in the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2018 and in the Intangible Heritage Saudi Arabia Inventory in 2019. Both inventories have matching backgrounds and registration numbers. In Kuwait, the element was included in the National Inventory List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2017.
- Decides that based on the information provided by the States Parties to the Committee at its present session, the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity are satisfied:
R.2: The inscription of the element on the Representative List is expected to increase interest in practising the craft and learning about the related practices through contact with the tradition, particularly among young people, providing individuals with a better understanding of their family heritage. The information provided demonstrate how the inscription would contribute to ensuring the visibility of intangible cultural heritage at the local, national and international levels. Furthermore, the file focuses on the promotion of human creativity through the use of Al Sadu by designers and artists in various contemporary products. It indicates examples that show the role of artisans in this process and the impact that these commercial and artistic uses could have on the element.
R.3: The element is in good state of viability and there is therefore no need for detailed safeguarding measures. The annual reports of mentioned local societies show that an increasing number of ladies have taken Al Sadu weaving workshops and have benefitted from it financially. Moreover, to alleviate some of the financial constraints, public and private partnerships have been successfully implemented to sponsor events and workshops. Furthermore, the information provided demonstrate how the group of bearers – the weavers themselves – were involved in the process of preparing the safeguarding measures proposed.
- Decides to inscribe Traditional weaving of Al Sadu on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.