Decisión del Comité intergubernamental: 10.COM 10.B.15

The Committee

  1. Takes note that the Dominican Republic has nominated Son (No. 01053) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Son is a form of music and dance combining African rhythms with Spanish musical elements and spread throughout the Caribbean. The lyrics of the songs are poetic. Most are love songs, focusing on the beauty of women and the pain of heartbreak. Couples dance close together with harmonious steps and rhythmic hip movements. The traditional dress of Son dancers today includes two-tone shoes and hats. The most experienced dancers are individuals taught from childhood by their parents and close relatives. The Son musical and dancing tradition is kept alive around the country by members of the Club Nacional de Soneros. The Club maintains two dance schools, organizes talks and lectures on the origin and history of Son, holds dancing exhibitions, concerts with orchestras and dance parties, and provides social assistance to members of the club in times of need. Musicians of Son orchestras are dedicated to interpretation of the musical genre, and undertake musical education and training in instruments such as the trumpet, bongo, bass, clave, maracas, guiro tres and others. Son prides itself on upholding values of morality, decency, elegance and respect.

  1. Decides that the information included in the file is not sufficient to allow the Committee to determine whether the following criteria are satisfied:

R.1:   Notwithstanding the commitment of community representatives, the nomination does not respond to the questions related to the nature and scope of the element, its bearers and practitioners, the ways of transmission, and social functions and cultural meanings of the element but instead provides vague information; the Club Nacional de Soneros is at the very centre of all explanations, arguments and endeavours, contrasting its operations with those of other cultural expressions and communities in an inappropriate, prejudicial way;

R.2:   The response to the questions posed is inadequate for it consists of reiteration of information presented in the previous and following sections, without addressing the contribution of the possible inscription of the nominated element to ensuring visibility and awareness, and to encouraging dialogue;

R.3:   The safeguarding measures are elaborated exclusively from the perspective of the Club Nacional de Soneros, demonstrate a gap between ambitions and feasibility, and do not include any indication whatsoever of the commitment of the State to support their implementation;

R.4:   Although the involvement of the membership of the Club Nacional de Soneros in the nomination process is well demonstrated, the process seemed to be misunderstood as one aimed at gathering signatures from other entities outside the Club in order to support the Club to obtain recognition at UNESCO; consequently, besides numerous members of the Club, the nomination is supported by entities such as a transportation service, a federation of trade unions, unions of female workers and similar associations;

R.5:   The element was already included in an inventory in 1998, established by the agency preceding the Ministry of Culture but no adequate evidence is provided concerning its possible conformity with Articles 11 and 12 of the Convention.

  1. Decides to refer the nomination of Son to the State Party for additional information and invites it to resubmit the nomination to the Committee for examination during a following cycle;
  2. Takes note that the State Party proposed a challenging nomination file that was prepared and written by an organization of the element’s bearers and practitioners;
  3. Encourages the State Party, if it wishes to resubmit the nomination, to fully involve itself in the whole process of development and elaboration of the nomination;
  4. Suggests, should the State Party wish to resubmit the nomination, that it deliberate on whether the Representative List or another international mechanism, including capacity-building through an international assistance request, could best help the safeguarding of Son;
  5. Requests the State Party, should it wish to resubmit the nomination, to avoid prejudicial comparisons with other practices and communities that are not in keeping with the Convention’s principle of mutual respect.