Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 7.COM 11.8

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Brazil has nominated Frevo, performing arts of the Carnival of Recife for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Frevo is a Brazilian artistic expression comprising music and dance, performed mainly during the Carnival of Recife. Its quick frenetic and vigorous rhythm draws upon the fusion of musical genres such as marching music, Brazilian tango, square dance, polka and pieces of classical repertoire, performed by martial bands and fanfares. The music is essentially urban, and like the accompanying dance, ‘Passo’, is vigorous and subversive. The dance stems from the skill and agility of capoeira fighters, who improvise leaps to the electrifying sound of steel orchestras and bands. Practitioners of Frevo and Passo are part of associations, each of which participates in parades for the carnival. Their headquarters provide support for the development, preservation and transmission of knowledge and skills related to Frevo. The element also has a close connection to the beliefs and symbolic universe of the practitioners’ religion. Several associations have colours related to the members’ devotion and various embellishments have religious meanings. Frevo is formed through the creativity and cultural riches that comes from the great mix of music, dance, capoeira and crafts, among others, demonstrating the ingenuity and creative ability of its practitioners. This ability to promote human creativity and respect for cultural diversity is inherent to Frevo.

  1. Decides that, from the information provided in file 00603, the nomination satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List, as follows:

R.1:   Frevo constitutes a syncretic artistic expression recognized by the people of Recife as a festive symbol of their identity and continuity and constantly recreated by them in response to changing social conditions;

R.2:   Its inscription on the Representative List could favour dialogue, promote mutual understanding, and foster appreciation of the creative spirit of humanity, thanks in particular to its openness to diverse people and communities;

R.3:   The description of safeguarding measures is thorough and extensive, with well-identified activities focused on promotion, dissemination, documentation and education; the commitment of the communities and the support of the State Party are demonstrated;

R.4:   The element was nominated following wide and active involvement of the community, associations and groups concerned, and their free, prior and informed consent is amply demonstrated;

R.5:   Upon a request by the Recife City Hall, and through a participatory process in which communities identify and define their heritage, Frevo was inventoried and recognized in 2008 by the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN) as Cultural Heritage of Brazil;

  1. Inscribes Frevo, performing arts of the Carnival of Recife on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.