Decisión del Comité intergubernamental: 16.COM 8.B.44

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Turkmenistan has nominated Dutar making craftsmanship and traditional music performing art combined with singing (no. 01565) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Dutar is a traditional instrument and musical genre from Turkmenistan. The dutar instrument is a long-necked, two-stringed lute with a pear-shaped body covered by a thin wooden sounding board. The resonating body and soundboard are made from a piece of mulberry wood, and the neck is made with the dried trunk of an apricot tree. To make the body of the dutar, the wood is rounded, hollowed out and polished. The wood for the cover is baked for up to twenty-four hours to remove humidity, then glued over the hollow of the dutar using bone glue. Finally, the neck, frets and strings are added, and the instrument is tuned. The dutar is an inseparable part of Turkmen culture and is used in all of the main genres of Turkmen music and singing. The music is divided into two types: dutarchy, which refers to music played alone, and bagshy, which refers to music accompanied by singing. There are also several sub-types. For instance, a dessanchy bangshy is an epic performance incorporating narration, singing and vocal improvisation, thus alternating poetry and prose. In Turkmenistan, dutar music is an essential part of festivities, ceremonies, national celebrations, cultural festivals, social gatherings and entertainment programmes.

  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 element is a combined genre consisting of artisanry, music composition and performance accompanied by singing. Its bearers and practitioners are the dutar artisans, players and singers, including men and women, as well as local scholars and musicologists. Artisanry and related knowledge are traditionally passed on from father to son at the family and community levels. Performance skills are transmitted orally and through demonstration. It may take six to twelve years of understudying a master, and no fee is levied. There is also formal training at the National Conservatory. The element promotes social integrity, provides a sense of social identity, and is part of family festivities, national celebrations, cultural festivals, social gatherings, daily entertainment and creative expression. The element also promotes mutual understanding, cooperation, social cohesion, equality, respect for human rights and cultural diversity.

R.2:  At the local level, inscription would spread awareness of intangible cultural heritage in various domains and promote cooperation and dialogue among communities about other elements. At the national level, inscription would have a positive impact on people’s awareness of the importance of bearers and practitioners associated with the element. At the international level, it would encourage greater recognition about the role of music and other domains of performing arts and their social and cultural functions. Inscription would also enhance dialogue among bearers and practitioners regarding best practices for transmission, as well as promote respect for cultural diversity among the communities concerned.

R.3:  The element is an integral part of the cultural life of Turkmenistan, and the bearers and practitioners have ensured its viability. The government has also supported its viability through documentation and safeguarding of the element, such as through local festivals, academic meetings and workshops. The file lays out a strategic set of safeguarding measures including a proposed implementation timeline. It demonstrates the support of the State, as well as the role of communities, groups and individuals in preparing the measures.

R.4:  The file establishes wide participation of communities, groups and individuals, including the bearers and practitioners, as well as scholars and specialists. It clearly outlines a process between 2017 and 2019 regarding the proposal and preparation of the nomination file. Free, prior and informed consent is also established, and respect for customary access to the element is evident.

R.5:  The element has been included since 2013 on the National Inventory of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Turkmenistan, which is administered by the Department of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Culture of Turkmenistan. The inventory is updated annually during field expeditions, after which information is submitted to the National Committee of Experts. The process of identification, definition and collection of data and the role of communities, groups, individuals and scholars is clearly outlined.

  1. Decides to inscribe Dutar making craftsmanship and traditional music performing art combined with singing on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.