Decisión del Comité intergubernamental: 15.COM 8.B.7

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Spain has nominated Wine Horses (no. 00860) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Los Caballos del Vino (Wine Horses) takes place each year from 1-3 May in Caravaca de la Cruz and forms part of the fiestas held in honour of the Santísima y Vera Cruz in Caravaca. The equestrian ritual consists of a series of events in which the horse is the protagonist. The process of enjaezamiento involves dressing the horses in beautiful cloaks richly embroidered in silk and gold thread. Various parades are then held, showcasing the horses and the cloaks through the streets, accompanied by four horse handlers on foot followed by the entire town. Finally, the most awaited moment is a race against the clock up the hill to the castle, with the horses running with four handlers up to the fortress, where prizes are awarded for the race and for the embroidered cloaks. Knowledge and techniques relating to caring for, breeding, harnessing and handling the horses are transmitted within families and groups, and the embroidery techniques are learned in workshops and embroidery families. The relationship between humans and horses, based on respect and collaboration, is also passed down through the generations. The two activities of wine-growing and horse-breeding form an inherent part of the economy, history and culture of the area and the festival showcases values such as comradeship and solidarity, with everyone feeling represented as part of a socially united group.

  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:   Wine Horses is a practice that has been transmitted across the generations in Caravaca, Spain. The equestrian ritual consists of a series of events in which the horse is the protagonist, and which begin with caring for the animal throughout the year. The main function of this festival derives from the real and symbolic value which the agro-farming community of Caravaca accords to the wine-growing and horse-breeding traditions of the area, with which they identify as groups. The Caballos del Vino have been a source of inspiration for many artists, including poets, painters, sculptors and musicians, as is illustrated in the Caballos del Vino museum, where the celebration is defined.

R.3:   The file provides information on how the communities involved in the festival implemented the following safeguarding measures, among others: maintaining children’s peñas to ensure the festival is passed down through the generations; holding cultural workshops for children in local schools; promoting the activities carried out by the horse masters outside of the festival period; and holding cultural workshops. In their respective areas of jurisdiction, the state, regional and local governments shall implement various safeguarding measures, encompassing measures directed at identification, documentation and research, preservation and protection, promotion and dissemination and revitalization.

R.4:   The initiative for preparing the nomination of Caballos del Vino came from the community concerned, since it was the local people who conveyed their desire to prepare this file to the local and regional government. The community was involved in the whole process, and the nomination was communicated to all the associations through the Bando de los Caballos del Vino meetings and conventions. Access to the festival has always been, and continues to be, free, open and non-exclusive, with the aim of encouraging greater public participation.

R.5:   The element was included in the List of Cultural Property of the Region of Murcia in 2012. According to the nomination, the updating of the inventory is carried out periodically by the Autonomous Community of Murcia, thanks to the community, which reports on the evolution of the element and its own situation on an annual basis.

  1. Decides that based on the information provided by the State Party to the Committee at its present session, the following criterion for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity is satisfied:

R.2:   The inscription of the element would contribute to ensuring the visibility and awareness of intangible cultural heritage and encouraging dialogue. At a local and national level, the inclusion on the Representative List would contribute to the dissemination of the concept of intangible cultural heritage through the pride shown by the people of Caravaca in spreading joyousness, customs and traditions during their fiesta. Finally, at the international level, the file draws attention to the importance of this element for intangible cultural heritage related to horses. The inscription will enable other festive rituals related to horses, in which the animal is the centre of the celebration, to be reflected in the nomination. This element will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and thoughts, and to promote dialogue with regard to horse heritage and related knowledge.

  1. Decides to inscribe Wine Horses on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;

  2. Reminds the State Party of the importance of ensuring the most active possible participation of the communities concerned in the formulation of the safeguarding measures;

  3. Further reminds the State Party of the importance of a clear structure and logical arrangement of the safeguarding measures;

  4. Further invites the State Party, when submitting nomination files in the future, to provide information in the appropriate sections within the file;

  5. Also invites the State Party to take particular heed of the impact of increased, undue tourism on the safeguarding of the element in order to prevent its potential decontextualization and encourages it to remain focused on the animal welfare aspect of the element when planning and implementing the safeguarding measures.