Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 9.COM 10.43

The Committee

  1. Takes note that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has nominated Kopachkata, a social dance from the village of Dramche, Pijanec (No. 00995) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Kopachkata is a dynamic and energetic social dance performed by local residents of the village of Dramche in the region of Pijanec. It is danced at weddings, public gatherings and religious holidays by the village’s best male dancers. The dance is performed in a semicircle accompanied by drummers, a fiddle, and sometimes a tamboura lute or bagpipes. The key roles are the dance leader, who initiates the dance, the last dancer, and the middle dancer who acts as the fulcrum, balancing the left and right sides of the semicircle. During the dance, the dancers hold each other’s belts with crossed hands, to ensure stability as their movements quicken. The dance starts with a slow walking movement, then changes to swift and short steps, followed by quicker steps and foot stamping. Younger, newer participants learn by taking the last place in the semicircle, and moving closer to the front as their competence progresses. For local audiences, the Kopachkata dance is a symbol of cultural identity, not only of the community of the village of Dramche, but for the wider Pijanec region.

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

R.1:   Successfully revitalized thanks to the initiatives of a group of dancers, Kopachkata provides the communities concerned with a sense of social and cultural identity and continuity;

R.2:   The nomination demonstrates benefits that might be brought to the local bearers of the element, but also promotes awareness of the intangible cultural heritage for other communities in other countries having similar traditions; of particular significance and benefit is the collaboration in the practice of the element between communities speaking Romani and Macedonian languages; the file thus promotes appreciation and respect of cultural diversity as well as collaboration for safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage between different communities on both local and international levels;

R.3:   The proposed safeguarding measures, largely initiated by the communities, include documentation, research, education and awareness raising as well as creating performance opportunities; the plans take into account the sustainable development needs of the communities and the commitment of the State Party is demonstrated;

R.4:   Communities, local authorities and non-governmental organizations participated actively in the nomination process, and the communities provided their free, prior and informed consent;

R.5:   The element was included in 2011 in the National Registry of Cultural Heritage established by the Cultural Heritage and Protection Office.

  1. Inscribes Kopachkata, a social dance from the village of Dramche, Pijanec on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.