Decisión del Comité intergubernamental: 16.COM 8.B.26

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Morocco has nominated Tbourida (no. 01483) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Tbourida is a Moroccan equestrian performance dating back to the sixteenth century. It simulates a succession of military parades, reconstructed according to ancestral Arab-Amazigh conventions and rituals. Each tbourida is performed by a troupe made up of an odd number of riders and horses (between 15 and 25). The riders line up side by side, with the leader of the troupe in the middle. They often give spiritual significance to the event, performing ablutions and praying collectively beforehand. Under the direction of the leader, the riders and horses perform a parade composed of two principal parts. The first is the hadda, or salute, in which the riders enter the course at a trot and perform an acrobatic arms drill, then reposition themselves at the starting point. This is followed by the talqa, in which the troupes set off again at a gallop and fire a round of blanks from their rifles, simulating a collective departure for war. The riders wear period costumes and accessories, including a turban, draped clothing and oriental slippers. They also carry a small copy of the Koran and an ancient Arab sword. The horses are bridled and saddled with material sewn and decorated in the traditional manner. The riders’ customs and costumes represent their tribe or region, and transmission takes place from generation to generation within families, through oral traditions and by observation.

  1. Considers that, based on 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 bearers of the element are the troupe riders whose customs and costumes represent their tribe or region. Transmission takes place from generation to generation within families, through oral traditions and by observation. Young practitioners are taught the necessary skills and knowledge, including how to ride and care for the horses. Competitions also encourage the participation of young riders. The element holds importance for the cultural identity and collective memory of Morocco and its communities. It contributes to sustainable development through horse breeding and the production of clothing and saddlery from local materials.

R.2:  At the local and national levels, inscription would encourage continuity of this equestrian practice while perpetuating craft associated with the element. It would also foster inter-regional meetings and cultural exchanges and encourage equestrian practices that promote the well-being of horses. At the international level, there will be increased awareness about the importance of preserving and transmitting intangible cultural heritage in general among Moroccans and North Africans. The practice of the element itself contributes to dialogue and respect for cultural diversity, as it gives each region an opportunity to integrate its own local characteristics and crafts.

R.3:  Past and current safeguarding efforts include the work of regional communities, families and troupes in perpetuating horse-riding skills and associated crafts, and hosting several annual events. Since the 1990s the State has developed a safeguarding plan through the Royal Moroccan Equestrian Federation and Royal Equestrian Society, which includes competitions and financial incentives, improved monitoring and care of the Barb Horse and the training of judges for the competition. Proposed safeguarding measures include the incorporation of the Tbourida initiation school into the Academy of Equestrian Arts of Marrakech for teaching the theory and practice of the element, as well as the opening of regional equestrian horse-riding centres. Archiving and awareness-raising measures include the production and updating of documentaries, audio-visual recordings and best practices for the production of saddles. Communities will continue to play an important role in implementing the safeguarding measures.

R.4:  The nomination process involved the participation of the concerned communities and was initiated by the various troupes and associations. It included a series of workshops and meetings. Evidence of community support was also provided in the form of signatures supporting the nomination, including more than 16,130 signatures from different regions of Morocco. There are no customary practices that restrict access to the element in part or as a whole.

R.5:  The element was included in 2017 on the Inventory and Documentation of the Cultural Heritage of Morocco and is administered by the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory and Documentation Division of the Directorate of Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. The file references the element as being updated every year by the Directorate of Cultural Heritage based on information submitted to the Directorate. The online inventory is verifiable.

  1. Decides to inscribe Tbourida on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Invites the State Party to ensure that safeguarding measures adequately address the potential negative impact of the over-commercialization of the element, keeping in mind that all safeguarding measures should be aimed at enhancing the viability of the element;
  3. Further invites the State Party to concentrate on more tailored measures aimed at safeguarding the element itself rather than on the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage in general;
  4. Commends the State Party for measures geared towards the care and repopulation of horses over time.