Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 7.COM 11.15

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Hungary has nominated the folk art of the Matyó, embroidery of a traditional community for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

The folk art of the Roman Catholic Matyó community in and around the town of Mezőkövesd in north-eastern Hungary is characterized by floral motifs that are found in flat-stitch embroidery and ornamented objects. Matyó embroidery decorates the traditional dress of the region, worn by local people in celebratory events and in folk dancing and singing. The floral motifs have played a crucial part in strengthening the self-image and identity of the Matyó community and are employed in interior decoration, contemporary fashion and architecture, in addition to embroidery. Community members established the Matyó Folk Art Association in 1991 to transmit the skills of embroidery and organize numerous cultural events and performances. In its Borsóka Embroidery Circle, anyone can learn the art, techniques and motifs of embroidery from experienced masters. In its Folk Dance Ensemble, members wear the finely embroidered traditional costumes, thereby contributing to their perpetuation. The national popularity of Matyó embroidery has made it into a form of auxiliary income, enabling women to buy the fine fabrics and supplies necessary for making elaborate costumes. Most often practised as a communal activity, embroidery strengthens interpersonal relationships and community cohesion, while allowing for individual artistic expression.

  1. Decides that, from the information provided in file 00633, the nomination satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List, as follows:

R.1:   Transmitted from generation to generation, folk art and particularly embroidery constitutes an essential component of cultural identity for the Matyó community of north-eastern Hungary, actively created and re-created by its members, thereby strengthening interpersonal relations and community cohesion.

R.2:   Its inscription on the Representative List could contribute to promoting awareness of the intangible cultural heritage through attention to traditional craftsmanship and human creativity.

R.3:   Safeguarding measures are proposed that demonstrate the commitment of the State, local authorities, groups and cultural associations to ensure the viability of Matyó folk art.

R.4:   The Matyó community, particularly its voluntary groups such as the Folk Art Association, participated in the nomination process and provided free, prior and informed consent.

R.5:   Upon the initiative of the Matyó Folk Art Association, ‘Matyó heritage – embroidery, costume and folklore’ was included in the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2010 maintained by the Hungarian Open Air Museum of Szentendre.

  1. Inscribes the folk art of the Matyó, embroidery of a traditional community on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.