Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 9.COM 10.23

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Kazakhstan has nominated Kazakh traditional art of Dombra Kuy (No. 00996) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

The art of Dombra Kuy refers to a short solo composition performed on a traditional pear-shaped, long-necked, two-stringed, plucked musical instrument. The music aims to connect people to their historic roots and traditions through classical and improvised pieces that engage the audience at a spiritual and emotional level. Public engagement in the performance serves as one of the most important means of social communication between people and contributes to the transfer of knowledge and skills related to Kazakh culture. The music is usually accompanied by narrated stories and legends. It is traditionally performed at social gatherings, holidays and festive celebrations, amid a rich variety of food and musical entertainment. It serves as a vital social and cultural experience, strengthening people’s identity and promoting solidarity and mutual understanding in society. Aspiring and talented musicians are apprenticed to masters from the moment a child demonstrates an interest in the philosophy and virtuosity of traditional music and performance. Amateur musicians then apprentice themselves to other more experienced and talented performers from their region to increase their skills and repertoire.

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

R.1:   Traditionally transmitted from master to disciple through generations, the Dombra Kuy performance is an essential entertainment during family and community gatherings and plays an important role in strengthening social cohesion among Kazakh people while providing them with a sense of identity and belonging;

R.2:   Inscription of the element on the Representative List could contribute to its increased visibility at the national and international levels, while encouraging integration and intercultural dialogue, promoting solidarity and respect for cultural diversity, and highlighting creativity;

R.3:   Proposed safeguarding measures include documentation and information sharing, support to research and education, and improvement of legal and social conditions of bearers and are to be implemented in collaboration between the State, experts and bearers; the participation of communities and the support of the State Party are demonstrated;

R.4:   The nomination was elaborated with the participation of communities of bearers and the general public; evidence of free, prior and informed consent is provided;

R.5:   The element was included in 2013 in the National Register of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Kazakhstan, maintained and regularly updated by the Ministry of Culture and Information in collaboration with the National Committee on Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage and Kazakhstan National Commission for UNESCO.

  1. Inscribes Kazakh traditional art of Dombra Kuy on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Recalls the importance of using vocabulary appropriate to the spirit of the Convention and avoiding expressions such as ‘pure nature’, ‘essence’, ‘true meaning’ and ‘true beauty’.