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New intangible cultural heritage elements can be inscribed on the Representative list of UNESCO

New intangible cultural heritage elements can be inscribed on the Representative list of UNESCO

2020. április 5. | UNESCO, falconry, tradition of Lipizzaner horse breeding, Hungarian folk string band

The Falconry, the traditions of Lipizzaner horse breeding and the Hungarian folk string band can also be inscribed on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which gathers community knowledge of each country, transmitted from generation to generation.

The falconry as hunting with predator birds has a millennial history and it is a well-known tradition in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the Caspian Sea region, North Africa, North and South America as well. The tradition of falconry has been nominated to the Representative list for the fourth time with the affiliation of six more countries. In addition to hunting, falconry communities play an important role in the protection of birds and nature, the maintenance of endangered species, and safeguarding the traditions. Associations in all countries help their work and an international federation brings together falconry organizations around the world.

The tradition of Lipizzaner horse breeding has been jointly nominated to UNESCO by eight countries. This type of horses were bred during the period of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy to represent the splendor of the court and were kept in the imperial stud of Lipica settlement which lay nowadays in Slovenia. Hungary played a prominent role in the maintenance of the breed. The stud was endangered during the Napoleonic Wars, therefore it was rescued to Mezőhegyes in Hungary, from where Lipizzaner horse breeding spread in the countries belonging to the former monarchy. Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia have stud farms breeding Lipizzaner horses. Hungary emerges with its international results in carriage driving with Lipizzaner horses. The National Stud Farm Szilvásvárad and the Organization of Hungarian Lipizzaner Horse Breeders gave professional help during the preparation of the nomination.

Hungary proposed the tradition of Hungarian folk string band as an independent nomination on the UNESCO list. The string music formation has evolved over the centuries based on the gentleman’s string music practice. The violin-viola-bass based peasant string bands were defining elements of everyday and festive occasions held in the community or family, also of the dancer and singer amusements. The members of the peasant bands learned by ear and imitation of playing hands, so their developing musicial knowledge eventuated large repertoires which often met with local needs. The emerging dance house movement in the 1970’s meant a new period for the string music tradition, that is it maintains the tradition and contributes it’s flourishing today. Thanks to the beginning of official education practicing string music become a lifestyle and vocation for hundreds of folk musicians, also important for them to transmit the related knowledge consciously to the next generations. The document of nomination was prepared with the professional assistance of the Hungarian Heritage House.

Nominations can be submitted once a year to Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, either individually or as a multinational nomination in case of a multinational element, ranged more countries. The deadline for submission to the UNESCO list was 31 March. The organizer and responsible for the preparation of the nominations is the Directorate of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Hungarian Open Air Museum, commissioned by the Ministry of Human Capacities, which is the professional coordinator of the implementation of the 2003 Convention in Hungary. The evaluation of the submitted  documents about the cultural elements and their inscription to the list takes place at the 16th session of the Intergovernmental Committee on the Intangible Cultural Heritage in December 2021.

The Representative List of Intagible Cultural Heritage of Humanity currently includes the Busó festivities at Mohács, the embroidery of Matyó, the falconry submitted as a multinational nomination and the tradition of blue dyeing. In the Register of good safeguarding practices the Dance-house Method and the Kodály Method represent the model safeguarding programs.


Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO
World Heritage
Elemér Muharay Folk Art Assosiation
Assosiation of Hungarian Folk Artists
Institute of Ethnology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Kriza János Ethnographic Society
Hungarian Ethnographic Society
Museum of Ethnography
Hungarian Heritage House
National Cultural Institute