HERITAGE/ Intangible Heritage: How to Protect Invisible Treasures

The UNESCO’s list of intangible heritage includes a wide range of unique traditions, dances, songs, handwork. Learn about Croatia’s lace making, Chinese calligraphy, or Azerbaijani Ashiq.


Articles

Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage

Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage

Ashley Nault

The term ‘cultural heritage’ has changed content considerably in recent decades, partially owing to the instruments developed by UNESCO. Cultural heritage does not end at monuments and collections of objects. It also includes traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to pro...
The Eastern Treasure: Chinese Calligraphy

The Eastern Treasure: Chinese Calligraphy

Theodore Slate

Chinese calligraphy has always been more than simply a tool for communication, incorporating as it does the element of artistry for which the practice is still valued in an age of ballpoint pens and computers. Indeed, calligraphy is no longer the basic tool of intellectuals and officials but has become the preserve of professional artisans and amateur enthusiasts. Whether they are recording information or simply creating beautiful forms, calligraphers’ brushes are used to ink five different s...
Beautiful Lace from Croatia

Beautiful Lace from Croatia

Nils Kraus

At least three distinct traditions of lacemaking in Croatia persist today, centred on the towns of Pag on the Adriatic, Lepoglava in northern Croatia and Hvar on the Dalmatian island of the same name. Pag needle-point lace was originally used to make ecclesiastical garments, tablecloths and ornaments for clothing. The process involves embellishing a spider web pattern with geometrical motifs and is transmitted today by older women who offer year-long courses. Lace-makers of Pag did their teg ...
Indonesian Batik: Intangible Heritage Wonder

Indonesian Batik: Intangible Heritage Wonder

Bill Alen

The techniques, symbolism and culture surrounding hand-dyed cotton and silk garments known as Indonesian Batik permeate the lives of Indonesians from beginning to end: infants are carried in batik slings decorated with symbols designed to bring the child luck, and the dead are shrouded in funerary batik. Clothes with everyday designs are worn regularly in business and academic settings, while special varieties are incorporated into celebrations of marriage and pregnancy and into puppet theatre a...
The Art of Azerbaijani Ashiq

The Art of Azerbaijani Ashiq

Denise Chen

Ashiqs combines poetry, storytelling, dance and vocal and instrumental music into a traditional performance art that stands as a symbol of Azerbaijani culture. Characterized by the accompaniment of the saz, a stringed musical instrument, the classical repertoire includes 200 songs, 150 literary-musical compositions known as dastans, nearly 2,000 poems in different traditional poetic forms and numerous stories. The regional variations may include other musical instruments, but all are united by ...