- Takes note that the Islamic Republic of Iran has nominated Traditional skills of crafting and playing Dotār (No. 01492) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
The traditional skills of crafting and playing the Dotār are one of the most prominent social and cultural components of the folkloric music among the ethnic groups and communities of the Dotār regions. Bearers and practitioners are mostly farmers, including male crafters and players and female players. The Dotār is a folkloric plucked musical instrument with a pear-shaped bow crafted with dried wood or mulberry tree, a neck made of apricot or walnut wood, and two strings. Some believe one string is male and functions as the accord, while the other is female, playing the main melody. Performers play the Dotār on important social and cultural occasions such as weddings, parties, celebrations and ritual ceremonies. In recent decades, it has also been played in local, regional, national and international festivals. While playing, the players recount epic, historical, lyric, moral and gnostic narrations that are central to their ethnic history, pride and identity. Traditional knowledge relating to crafting and playing the Dotār is passed on informally through the master-student method, and the element is also present in local oral and written literature, which reflects the history and background of the bearers. The element fosters peaceful co-existence, mutual respect and understanding both among different communities and with neighbouring countries.
- Considers that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
R.1: Linked to the local history, art and literature of the regions concerned, the traditional skills of crafting and playing Dotār are recognized as one of the main elements of the cultural and social identity of the regions where they are practised. The element is a powerful reference point for collective memory and serves important symbolic functions among the communities concerned. It has a dynamic and inclusive nature.
R.2: The inscription of the traditional skills of crafting and playing Dotār would promote the visibility of intangible cultural heritage at the local and national levels, raising greater awareness among ethnic groups, communities and individuals. It would also raise awareness among Iranians generally, who would acquire a greater appreciation of their fellow citizens’ creativity. This would foster friendship, closeness, peace, joy and dialogue with other communities, groups and individuals.
R.3: The element has been safeguarded mostly through informal measures but there has been a development of professional institutions in recent years. The proposed safeguarding measures are viable and concrete. They include documentary work, research projects, promotion through the internet and the media and musical festivals. The State Party will support these measures by providing funding and facilities and by establishing safeguarding institutions.
R.4: Dotār crafters and players, local researchers and a large number of bearers, practitioners, communities and groups actively participated in all stages of the preparation of the nomination. They shared their ideas, experiences, concerns and suggestions, as reflected in the proposed safeguarding measures.
R.5: Traditional skills of crafting and playing Dotār was included in the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2017. The Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization is the body responsible for maintaining and updating the inventory with the active participation of the local communities, groups and individuals concerned.
- Decides to inscribe Traditional skills of crafting and playing Dotār on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
- Commends the State Party for its monitoring system and looks forward to hearing the results of this system in its next periodic report.