Decisión del Comité intergubernamental: 8.COM 7.A.11

The Committee

  1. Takes note that The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has nominated Glasoechko, male two-part singing in Dolni Polog (No. 00737) for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding:

Glasoechko male two-part singing is a traditional vocal musical form passed on orally from generation to generation as part of the local tradition and cultural identity of the Dolni Polog population. The very name of the element evokes its communal role, underlining its social and cultural functions at celebrations, weddings and other social gatherings, where it is spontaneously performed by groups of two or three men. Glasoechko songs are polyphonic, with a drone voice in counterpoint to the main melody. The songs may take the form of local historical or mythological epics or lyrical love songs, and are often accompanied by a shepherd’s flute and bagpipes. Glasoechko varies from village to village. The bearers of this tradition are prominent individual singers who have acquired their knowledge through direct learning from talented predecessors. Nowadays, there are few Glasoechko performers, largely as a result of migration. Over time, traditional Glasoechko songs have been marginalized at celebrations, and lack of exposure has resulted in diminishing interest among younger generations – a trend compounded by the complexity of the music, which makes it difficult to create an interest in it and transmit the relevant skills and knowledge.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Urgent Safeguarding List:

U.1:   Transmitted from generation to generation, Glasoechko singing conveys the values, oral history and mythology of people in Dolni Polog region and provides its community with a sense of identity and continuity;

U.2:   Glasoechko faces a set of threats including the unwillingness of the younger generation to invest in mastering a complex tradition, lack of adequate documentation, insufficient funding for awareness-raising measures and out-migration in the wake of recent conflicts;

U.5:   Glasoechko is included as Exceptional Cultural Heritage in the National Registry of Cultural Heritage maintained by the Ministry of Culture.

  1. Further decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination does not satisfy the following criteria for inscription on the Urgent Safeguarding List:

U.3:   The nomination does not provide detailed information on the proposed safeguarding plan; the formulations are vague expressions of intention and the objectives and expected results are undefined, with no timetable or budget; the measures do not reflect the involvement – past or future – of the community or a coordination of efforts between it and the State;

U.4:   Although two musical groups provided support and information during the nomination process, the nomination does not clearly demonstrate the widest possible participation of community members in its elaboration; the documents testifying to free, prior and informed consent are uniform and it is not clear to what extent they represent the views of the larger community;

  1. Decides not to inscribe Glasoechko, male two-part singing in Dolni Polog on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding;
  2. Encourages the State Party to develop together with the community concerned a coherent safeguarding plan with objectives and expected results that are in direct response to the threats identified, with concrete measures, detailed budget and a rigorous implementation schedule and with well-defined roles of stakeholders and clearly identified resources for its implementation;
  3. Further encourages the State Party to pay due attention to the participation of communities in all processes related to the safeguarding of the element, including development and updating of inventories as well as preparation and implementation of safeguarding plans;
  4. Recommends to the State Party that it invite Glasoechko practitioners to provide their free, prior and informed consent in a personalized way rather than a standard form.