Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 9.COM 10.9

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Bulgaria has nominated the tradition of carpet-making in Chiprovtsi (No. 00965) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Kilimi are hand-woven carpets made by the women of Chiprovtsi in north-eastern Bulgaria. Almost every household in the town contains a vertical handloom, which the women use to make two-sided tapestries traditionally utilized as floor coverings. The weaver takes several threads of the warp with her left hand, interlaces the weft yarn into the warp and uses a small beater to tighten the weave. The men of the town typically engage in wool production, processing and dyeing. Naturally dyed yarn gives soft pastel carpet hues, while chemical dyes produce brighter shades. The finished carpets are renowned for their composition, ornamental motifs and colour. Carpet weaving goes hand in hand with beliefs, verbal formulae and ritual practices. The weavers say prayers and make wishes for success before starting a new carpet, and sing and tell stories while working at the loom. The process of transmission occurs informally from mothers and grandmothers to daughters, often while working together on large carpets. Carpet weaving is deeply integrated into the social and cultural life of the population. The best-known forms of ornamentation are reproduced throughout the community and even constitute the coat of arms of the town.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List:

R.1:   The knowledge and skills associated with making Chiprovski carpets are widely practised and transmitted from generation to generation; incorporated in the everyday life of the town of Chiprovtsi, they maintain cultural significance and promote social cohesion;

R.2:   Inscription of Chiprovski carpets on the Representative List could enhance the visibility of intangible cultural heritage as well as strengthen dialogue among other communities near and far having weaving traditions;

R.3:   Continuing a long tradition of safeguarding this element, the proposed safeguarding measures focus on promotion, transmission, research and education; the commitment of the State Party is clearly demonstrated;

R.4:   Communities, local authorities and non-governmental organizations participated actively in the nomination process, and the communities – who themselves initiated the nomination – provided their free, prior and informed consent;

R.5:   The element is included in the national inventory created between 2001 and 2002 and maintained by the Ministry of Culture.

  1. Inscribes the tradition of carpet-making in Chiprovtsi on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.