Falconry, a living human heritage
Inscribed in 2021 (16.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Falconry is the traditional art and practice of training and flying falcons (and sometimes eagles, hawks, buzzards and other birds of prey). It has been practised for over 4000 years. The practice of falconry in early and medieval periods of history is documented in many parts of the world. Originally a means of obtaining food, falconry has acquired other values over time and has been integrated into communities as a social and recreational practice and as a way of connecting with nature. Today, falconry is practised by people of all ages in many countries. As an important cultural symbol in many of those countries, it is transmitted from generation to generation through a variety of means, including through mentoring, within families or in training clubs. The modern practice of falconry focuses on safeguarding falcons, quarry and habitats, as well as the practice itself. And while falconers come from different backgrounds, they share universal values, traditions and practices, including the methods of breeding, training and caring for birds, the equipment used and the bonds between the falconer and the bird. The falconry community includes supporting entities such as falcon hospitals, breeding centres, conservation agencies and traditional equipment makers.