Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 12.COM 11.B.24

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Panama has nominated Artisanal processes and plant fibers techniques for talcos, crinejas and pintas weaving of the pinta’o hat (No. 01272) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

The artisanal process of obtaining the plant fibres for weaving talcos, crinejas and pintas used to make pintao hats is a manual process carried out using five plants and swamp mud. Artisans weave braids and create talco weaves with different designs and pintas. Participants either plant, process the raw materials, weave or create the braids used to make the hat. The pintao hat has become an integral part of regional outfits throughout the country worn during traditional dances and community festivities. The practice promotes solidarity as artisans and plant suppliers are encouraged to form cooperatives and groups. As part of efforts to safeguard the craft, the Pintao Hat Museum in the La Pintada District recreates the artisan’s processes and environment and displays hats from different periods. There is a Civic and Memorial Day of the Pintao Hat on 19 October, and the General Directorate of Artisanship holds artisanal markets and fairs to promote artisanal products. The processes and techniques are passed down from generation to generation, and weaving contests encourage artisans to perfect their art. Currently, more than 400 artisans working with the traditional techniques have been identified; artisans make a living from their craft and are proud of their creations.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

R.1:   The element relates to oral history, social practice, knowledge about nature and traditional crafts. The process and techniques are sophisticated and include many different techniques for each stage of the fabrication process resulting in the end product. The element highlights cooperation and support within families and contributes to their livelihood and professional development. The hat is a natural accessory of everyday and formal clothing within the communities, and though the design has evolved over time, the processing of the raw materials and the braid weaves remain the same. Know-how related to the element is transmitted from generation to generation in families through oral and practical instruction. The production process is carried out in an economically sustainable way, providing benefits for the family as a whole, as well as at a wider scale.

R.2    The file demonstrates how the inscription could help increase the visibility of the element and associated techniques, attract the interest of younger generations and reinforce the pride of its bearers and practitioners. School visits by artisans would also enable the children of non-artisan parents to learn about the value of artisanal labour as a respectable, creative activity. The file shows how the inscription would contribute to increasing the visibility of intangible cultural heritage in general by highlighting the links among the sustainable use of natural resources, artisanal and social processes. The inscription will encourage interaction with other artisans and communities at the national and international level, thus promoting dialogue based on mutual respect, as well as fostering human creativity and the appreciation of cultural diversity.

R.3:   To ensure the viability of the element, the artisans and tradition bearers have formed cooperatives, taught the weaving techniques and established the Pintao Hat Museum. The State Party approved the law that declared 19 October as the yearly Day of the Pintao Hat. The proposed safeguarding measures include the annual Pintao Hat Festival and the tourist programme of the Pintao Hat route, with support from UNIDO. The element has been incorporated into the school education plan and the wellbeing of the artisans is taken into consideration in the inventorying process. A project database with audiovisual materials is available in different educational and cultural venues, as well as online. The promotion and sale of the products at fairs and markets also contributes to the safeguarding efforts. The acquisition of planting spaces is planned, as are training sessions on the maximization of the related resources. The plan demonstrates the support and deep commitment of the bearers, local authorities and State Party.

R.4:   Artisans from the communities concerned and cooperative member groups, as well as the municipal authorities, the Ministry of Commerce and Industries and scholars from the University of Panama have participated in the preparation of the nomination file since 2013. They gave their consent in the form of signed letters along with the video provided in support of the nomination. Expressions of consent are gathered regularly on different occasions and during the Pintao Hat Festival. There are no customary practices governing access to the element.

R.5:   The element was included in the Inventory of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Panama in 2013. It is also included in the provincial and indigenous inventories. The Panama Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Project is responsible for the preparation and maintenance of the inventory, in collaboration with the communities. The inventory is updated every two years.

  1. Inscribes Artisanal processes and plant fibers techniques for talcos, crinejas and pintas weaving of the pinta’o hat on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Thanks the Delegation of Panama for the clarifications provided to the Committee on the information included in the file concerning criterion R.2.