- Takes note that Kazakhstan has nominated Orteke, traditional performing art in Kazakhstan: dance, puppet and music (No. 01878) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
Orteke is an indigenous Kazakh performing art that combines theatre, music and puppetry. This folk art entails a music performance with a dombyra, a traditional two-stringed instrument, and a dance performed by a wooden puppet. Attached to the surface of a traditional drum with a metal rod, a wooden puppet in the shape of a mountain goat is connected to the fingers of a musician by one or several strings. As the musician strikes their fingers to play the dombyra, the puppet comes to life, hopping in sync with the music while tapping a rhythmic beat on the drum. Some experts can play with three or more puppets at a time. This performance, fascinating for its simplicity, is enjoyed by children and adults alike. It is primarily transmitted within communities and through apprenticeships, although the Kokil Musical College in Almaty has also established a team of researchers dedicated to the art. The biennial Orteke international festivals and regional puppet art competitions are other platforms for the learning and sharing of skills and experience between puppet artists from Kazakhstan and neighbouring countries. An important part of the region's folk heritage and identity, Orteke also serves as a communication tool between adults and children.
- 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: Orteke in Kazakhstsan is a performing art that combines theatre, music and puppetry. The bearers and practitioners include professional and amateur musicians and traditional music and folk ensembles and bands. Other practitioners and individuals associated with the element include the craftsmen who design the wooden puppets and musical instruments, researchers, folklorists and academicians in the field of ethnomusicology. The transmission of the element's knowledge and skills is conducted by communities and bearers and is maintained by the Ustaz-Shakird (master-apprentice) traditional system of teaching the arts. Orteke is an important part of the region's folk heritage and identity. It contributes to the understanding of traditional nomadic culture and the formation of cultural identity among younger generations.
R.2: At the local level, inscription will raise interest among local communities about their traditional practices. It will contribute to the exchange of information and dialogue between Orteke practitioners and those of other elements such as folk arts and traditional crafts. At the national level, the inscription of Orteke will facilitate public understanding of the nomadic lifestyle and philosophy. At the international level, inscription will encourage intercultural dialogue and exchange.
R.4: The nomination file was prepared with the participation of communities through several meetings and active communication since 2012. The preparation for the Orteke nomination involved the participation of communities, groups and individuals who submitted written letters and signed declarations expressing their free, prior and informed consent to the details of the nomination and their support for inscription. The nomination form would have benefitted from a larger number of consent letters to ensure the widest possible participation.
R.5: The element was added to the National List of the intangible cultural heritage of the Republic of Kazakhstan on 1 March 2013. The inventory is maintained by the Ministry of Culture and Sports. The element was identified and included in the inventory with wide participation of the communities, groups and individuals concerned. The inventorying process was based on the information and data provided in interviews by the bearers and practitioners of the element. New elements are added to the inventory annually.
- Further considers that based on the information provided by the State Party to the Committee at its present session, the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity is satisfied:
R.3: The file explains that the past and current safeguarding efforts include festivals and competitions, the introduction of Orteke in the curriculum of the Kokil Arts College and the inventorying and documenting of the element by the National ICH Committee. The proposed safeguarding measures are categorised into the four areas of (1) research activities; (2) organizational and technical activities; (3) educational activities; and (4) information activities, and elaborated with the concerned communities, groups and individuals. The State Party together with the concerned communities will continue to support the implementation of the proposed measures at the national, regional and local levels.
- Decides to inscribe Orteke, traditional performing art in Kazakhstan: dance, puppet and music on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
- Recalls the importance of using vocabulary appropriate to the spirit of the Convention and of avoiding terms such as ‘authentic’ and ‘unique’.