Decisión del Comité intergubernamental: 14.COM 10.b.5

The Committee,

  1. Takes note that the Plurinational State of Bolivia has nominated the festival of the Santísima Trinidad del Señor Jesús del Gran Poder in the city of La Paz (No. 01389) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

The festival of the Santísima Trinidad del Señor Jesús del Gran Poder takes place on the Day of the Holy Trinity in the city of La Paz. The celebration transforms and stimulates the social life of La Paz every year, emanating from a particular way of understanding and living Andean Catholicism. The Parade begins with a procession through the western part of the city. This procession is central to the event, involving 40,000 devotees who dance and sing in an offering to the patron saint. The dance has a sacred significance for the sixty-nine fraternities involved, which are greeted in the streets in a euphoric atmosphere where the music of 7,000 musicians resonates. The heavy dances begin with the Morenos, the iconic dance of the festival, mixed with light dances; meanwhile, the Sikuris and Qhantus native dances hark back to the origins of the Ch’ijini festival. The next day, the procession members solemnly carry the patron saint on their shoulders in the Gran Poder district; devotees pay tribute to the image with incense, flowers and confetti. The fraternities prepare their musical repertoires throughout the year; embroiderers and jewellers transmit their knowledge within the families of the Gran Poder, and the devotional aspect of the practice is transmitted through devotional ceremonies, evenings and processions.

  1. 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:   The Fiesta del Gran Poder is a collective rite that recognizes the rural origin of many inhabitants of La Paz and the contribution of their cultural practices and expressions. It is transmitted within families and through the sixty-nine fraternities involved. In addition to its sacred function, it strengthens social cohesion, awareness of intangible cultural heritage, pride for heritage, respect and unity. It is an essential source of strength that defines, transforms and stimulates the social life of La Paz every year.

R.2:   The inscription of the element on the Representative List would increase the visibility of many cultural expressions such as music and dance, as well as of other traditions and customs of groups marginalized by certain social classes at the local and national levels. The inscription would also strengthen dialogue between the participants and groups involved in the celebration and the local authorities and demonstrate the importance of elements of intangible cultural heritage associated with disadvantaged working-class neighbourhoods. Furthermore, the diversity of events associated with the celebration and the involvement of certain social groups in the Gran Poder shows that it is not limited to a celebration of faith but is also an expression of the principle of diversity.

R.3:   In the last thirty years, the Fiesta del Gran Poder has received a large amount of attention thanks to the safeguarding efforts of the communities from the beginning and the State since 1995. These safeguarding efforts continue to this day, ensuring the viability of the element. The proposed safeguarding measures give continuity to the efforts already undertaken, and are organized around six coherent objectives. These measures are expected to ensure that the viability of the element is not jeopardized in the future. They have been proposed after consultations with the communities, especially with the fraternities, which are responsible for organizing the Fiesta.

R.4:   The organization of the groups and organizations concerned facilitated the nomination process and guaranteed a wide participation of representatives of the sixty-nine fraternities that organize the practice. The nomination was thus prepared and developed with a high level of participation by the various social groups involved in the Fiesta del Gran Poder at various stages through a series of consultative meetings.

R.5:   The diverse elements of the Gran Poder festival have been included in several inventories of different kinds and for different reasons. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism, through the Intangible Heritage Unit, the Departmental Cultural Advisory Unit, the Monuments and Sites Unit and the Museum of Ethnography and Folklore are the bodies responsible for maintaining and updating these inventories.

  1. Decides to inscribe the festival of the Santísima Trinidad del Señor Jesús del Gran Poder in the city of La Paz on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Encourages the State Party to improve its inventorying process, both in terms of its overall methodologies and its procedures, and invites it to include relevant, detailed information in its next periodic report on the implementation of the Convention at the national level.

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