- Takes note that the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have nominated Art of crafting and playing Robāb/Rubāb/Rubob (No. 01714) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
The Robāb (Iran), Rubāb (Tajikistan) or Rubob (Uzbekistan) is a traditional, short-necked string instrument that has been used in Central Asia for thousands of years. Made from apricot, mulberry or other woods, the size and shape can vary within and across countries. Ensembles and folk groups play the instrument during holidays, celebrations, social events and family rituals. The instrument also plays a vital role in mourning ceremonies. It is a leading instrument in all professional groups, such as orchestras and ensembles, and musicians of all ages and genders transmit the knowledge to younger generations through performances and amateur groups, and in schools, colleges and musical institutions. Expert crafters, on the other hand, generally transmit the knowledge and skills of creating the instrument through apprenticeships or informally within families. They are also vital to the performance and transmission of the practice. One of the leading instruments in traditional orchestras and ensembles and an identifying factor for many of the communities concerned, the Robāb, Rubāb or Rubob promotes solidarity and cultural exchange in Iran, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
- Considers that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criterion for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
R.5: The element was included on the national inventories of the submitting States between 2012 to 2018. The inventories are maintained by the ministries or institutes in the various submitting States. Information on how the element was identified and defined, and the frequency and process by which the inventories are updated, are provided in the file for all submitting States.
- Further considers that the information included in the file is not sufficient to allow the Committee to determine whether the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity are satisfied:
R.1: The file provides three different and separate descriptions of the element, the knowledge and skills associated with it, and the social functions and cultural meanings, without clearly defining the commonalities of the element across the three submitting States. The separate descriptions from each country made it difficult to evaluate the file and determine the multinational aspect of the nomination and the element, and how the element is shared across the submitting States. In addition, the information provided in the file focuses on the musical instrument and on the music that it produces. The intangible cultural aspects, particularly the knowledge and skills associated with the instrument and its social functions and cultural meanings, are not clearly elaborated in the file.
R.2: The file explains how inscription will increase the visibility and awareness of the element itself but does not adequately explain how this will be achieved for intangible cultural heritage in general. In addition, the responses about the contribution of inscription to dialogue and human creativity are broad and not sufficiently explained.
R.3: The file explains that past and current safeguarding measures were carried out by the communities and supported by the States Parties. Regarding the proposed safeguarding measures, each State Party identified activities such as training, documentation, research and promotional efforts. However, the file does not provide information about joint safeguarding measures among the three submitting States. In the case of Iran and Tajikistan, a list of names of NGOs and institutions was provided, but there was a lack of information about how these organizations and institutions were involved in developing the proposed safeguarding measures and how they will be involved in the implementation of the measures. While Uzbekistan elaborated on the participation of the communities in developing the safeguarding measures, the role the communities will play in the implementation of the proposed measures is not clearly articulated in the file.
R.4: The information provided by the submitting States is inconsistent, as one of the submitting States provided a list of names of individuals and organizations, without explanation of the processes and contexts in which the communities, groups and individuals were involved in the various stages of the nomination process. While all submitting States provided letters of consent, the quantity and quality of the letters was inconsistent and do not appear to represent the widest possible participation of the communities. In particular, one of the submitting States provided only a handful of consent letters, of which the majority appeared to be from experts.
- Decides to refer the nomination of Art of crafting and playing Robāb/Rubāb/Rubob to the submitting States Parties and invites them to resubmit the nomination to the Committee for examination during a following cycle;
- Encourages the States Parties, for future multinational nominations, to jointly elaborate on the common practices of the element among the states involved, including the commonalities of the element's social functions and cultural meanings;
- Further encourages the States Parties to develop and elaborate on joint safeguarding measures for future multinational nominations;
- Reminds the States Parties to provide details about the proposed safeguarding measures and the involvement of the communities, groups and individuals in their planning and implementation.