Urgent safeguarding of the making of traditional musical instrument Kobyz and its tradition of Zhyrau performance

  • Financial assistance:
    • US$ 99,903 granted in 2023
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 23/08/2023 - 28/02/2025
  • Documents:

Benefitting country(ies): Uzbekistan


Implemented by the UNESCO Office in Tashkent in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Uzbekistan, this eighteen-month project aims to safeguard and raise awareness of Karakalpak living heritage in Uzbekistan, with a focus on the endangered kobyz and zhyrau traditions. Using a gender-based approach, the project involves identifying and documenting the techniques of creating kobyz (a traditional string instrument) and performing zhyrau music. It will also entail workshops to build the capacity of youth to craft the instrument and perform zhyrau. The workshops will be filmed, and the footage will be used to create a documentary that will be broadcast on local and national television. Other project activities include: (a) raising awareness about related safeguarding processes, including among local communities and youth; (b) implementing a workshop on the 2003 Convention and UNESCO’s inventorying methodology, including guidance and hands-on practice on compiling, recording and documenting elements of intangible cultural heritage; (c) mapping, inventorying and documenting kobyz and zhyrau and related elements; and (d) organizing awareness-raising activities with public education and media outlets. The project is expected to support traditional craftspeople and performers while encouraging youth to learn, appreciate and transmit their cultural heritage.

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