- Takes note that Cuba has nominated Knowledge of the light rum masters (No. 01724) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
Cuban light rum emerges in 1862 in the city of Santiago de Cuba. Since then, there has been an uninterrupted transmission of the Cuban light rum masters' knowledge, which is put into practice in aging cellars, mixture areas and laboratories. The Cuban light rum masters' knowledge is a set of traditional, scientific, sensory knowledge and transmission techniques that ensures the safeguarding of the Cuban light rum manufacturing process. Regardless of brand, light rum masters follow an ethical code centred on respect for Cuban rum culture and its history and good practices, with ecoculture and harmony with the environment at its core. The transmission of light rum’s master knowledge is a life-long learning process that is passed down from generation to generation and includes protecting aging cellars, knowing their contents and characteristics and the history of each barrel, and knowing which mixtures result in a given appearance, aroma, taste and texture. Masters form a guild-type community with selective admission that advocates for responsible consumption and acts as a cultural bridge between Cuba and the rest of the world.
- 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.4: The file explains that the light rum masters initiated the nomination process and presented a request to the Commission for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage to nominate the element to the Representative List. The masters coordinated meetings with members of the community and specialists of the Cubaron Business Group and other specialists to discuss the nomination file. The masters also approved various aspects of the nomination file, including the script for the audio-visual materials, held meetings to select photos and authored and reviewed sections of the nomination form. Various letters of consent from the communities were also submitted as part of the nomination form. The file explained that the masters, business groups and specialists were involved in the nomination process.
R.5: The element is included on the Inventory System of the National Council of Cultural Heritage. The inventorying process of the Knowledge of the Light Rum Masters was carried out from 2015 to 2018 and its most recent update was in 2021. The inventory is updated every year. The file explains that, as part of the inventorying process, exchanges were held with the bearers of the tradition to inform them about the 2003 Convention and about the need to create an inventory and the corresponding process. However, there is a lack of information about the process for updating the inventory and community involvement.
- Further considers that based on the information provided by the State Party 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.1: The Light Rum Masters' knowledge is a set of traditional, scientific, sensory, and innovative knowledge and techniques that ensure the safeguarding of Cuban light rum manufacturing, based on continuous mixture processes and successive natural aging. The element is identified as a cultural expression and identifying factor for the Cuban nation and there is sufficient explanation on the element's social functions and cultural meanings. In addition, the file provides detailed information about the oral traditions, social practices and knowledge and practices concerning nature, and how they are transmitted from one generation to another. The file explains that the element’s bearers and practitioners are organised in a guild type community, and that the movement involves five women and nine men with different skills levels and social functions in the process of preserving and transmitting the knowledge, cultural tradition and shared heritage.
R.2: The inscription of the element will enhance the visibility of intangible cultural heritage at the national and local levels, and will strengthen its connection with other expressions of heritage such as traditional and popular festivities, culinary traditions and traditional medicine. The file states that the inscription of the element will encourage the diffusion of traditional values of Cuban light rum culture and responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages, while promoting intercultural and intergenerational dialogue. The inscription will also raise awareness the importance of centuries-old traditions, which are based on the value of oral, corporal and sensorial transmission of knowledge and practices, as vehicles of intangible heritage
R.3: The file provides information on safeguarding measures to ensure the viability of the element and its social functions and cultural meanings. The file further presents information about how the State Party will monitor possible unintended consequences of the inscription and mitigate the risks of over-commercialization. the file explains that the light rum masters’ community is organized into work groups and involved in the implementation of proposed measures.
- Decides to inscribe Knowledge of the light rum masters on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
- Encourages the State Party, when safeguarding the element focus on the social and cultural functions of the element.