Decisión del Comité intergubernamental: 10.COM 10.a.7

The Committee

  1. Takes note that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has nominated Glasoechko, male two-part singing in Dolni Polog (No. 01104) for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding:

Male two-part singing in Dolni Polog is a traditional form of vocal music, known locally as Glasoechko, which is characteristic to the region. Songs are sung in a polyphonic manner with the drone voice moving contrapuntally in relation to the melodic leading voice, often accompanied by a shepherd’s flute and a bagpipe. Glasoechko is performed spontaneously in groups of two or three, at celebrations, assemblies, weddings, dinner parties and other social gatherings. Performance of this musical heritage constitutes a symbol of cultural identity for the bearers, integrated within a multi-ethnic society. Practitioners of this tradition are prominent and talented individual singers who have acquired their knowledge by imitating the techniques and skills of their predecessors. Male two-part singing in Dolni Polog faces a number of very serious threats to its viability, however. The number of individuals and groups practising and transmitting it is diminishing rapidly due in part to persistent outward migration of its bearers following the civil war conflict in 2001. Younger generations have extremely limited exposure to Glasoechko performances and older generations consider there is insufficient interest to warrant continued transmission. There are no recordings of Glasoechko songs and in its present state the tradition seems to verge on extinction.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria:

U.1:   Transmitted from generation to generation, Glasoechko singing conveys the values, oral history and mythology of people in the Dolni Polog region and provides its community with a sense of identity and continuity;

U.2:   Glasoechko faces a set of threats including the unwillingness of the younger generation to invest in mastering a complex tradition, lack of adequate documentation, insufficient funding for awareness-raising measures and out-migration in the wake of recent conflicts;

U.3:   The nomination provides sufficient information on the proposed safeguarding plan, which incorporates activities pertaining to transmission, documentation and research, preservation, promotion and revitalization; it was designed in collaboration among the main practitioners, local government, schools and a television station, research and governmental institutions;

U.4:   The nomination file and appended evidence of free, prior and informed consent demonstrate an active participation of the few existing musical groups in the nomination process, as well as the contribution and commitment of local community, groups and individuals to spread the knowledge and practice of Glasoechko;

U.5:   Glasoechko has been included since 2010 as Exceptional Cultural Heritage in the National Registry of Cultural Heritage maintained by the Ministry of Culture.

  1. Inscribes Glasoechko, male two-part singing in Dolni Polog on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding;
  2. Commends the State Party for resubmitting this nomination, and for providing additional information as requested;
  3. Recalls to the State Party the importance of using vocabulary appropriate to the spirit of the Convention and avoiding expressions such as ‘authentic’ and ‘pure’.

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