Decisión del Comité intergubernamental: 16.COM 8.b.16

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Indonesia has nominated Gamelan (no. 01607) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Gamelan refers to the traditional Indonesian percussion orchestra and to the set of musical instruments used. Consisting primarily of ornate, percussive instruments made of hand-forged metal, the ensemble typically includes xylophones, gongs, gong-chimes, drums, cymbals, string instruments and bamboo flutes. Gamelan music follows precise rules and techniques regarding tuning, layout, rhythmic and metric patterns and performance. For instance, the melody is played simultaneously by a group of instruments and multiple instruments may play interlocking parts to form a single rhythm. The music is played by men, women and children of all ages, and is typically performed in religious rituals, ceremonies, traditional theatre, festivals and concerts. It is also used for music therapy and is viewed as a means of expression and as a way of establishing a connection between humans and the universe. Gamelan is an integral part of Indonesian identity dating back centuries; archaeological evidence of the practice has been found in the relief sculptures of the eighth-century Borobudur temple. Practitioners include vocalists and instrumentalists, as well as instrument-makers and tuners. An important source of national pride, Gamelan continues to be passed down from generation to generation through informal and formal education, including in school and after-school activities.

  1. Considers 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:  Bearers include master creators, performers, teachers and trainers, tuners, woodcarvers, painters and students. Transmission is ensured in formal contexts in primary through to tertiary education and in informal contexts such as within families and during gamelan workshops. The element is part of national identity and is used in customary and religious ceremonies and rituals. It teaches the values of respect, mutual love and care, and is a medium of expression, identity and integration. The element is compatible with human rights instruments and contributes to sustainable development through the income earned by tradition-bearers and practitioners as well as the general well-being of those who derive health and social benefits from the use of the element.

R.2:  At the local and national levels, inscription will help bolster safeguarding efforts, particularly the development of policies for further inclusion of the element in formal education. At the international level, visibility of intangible cultural heritage will be enhanced through the participation of the element in academic exchanges and festivals. Meetings of practitioners and bearers will contribute to dialogue, and respect for cultural diversity will be enhanced through print and digital media.

R.3:  The communities concerned and the State Party have undertaken efforts to safeguard and preserve the element as an important symbol of their identity. A wide range of activities is proposed as part of these existing safeguarding measures. The proposed activities are well-organized, with specific targets. It is evident that the proposed measures were developed with the full participation of the communities, groups and individuals concerned.

R.4:  The file outlines the process involving the participation of communities, groups and individuals. The nomination process was carried out at the initiative of the Garasi Seni Benawa community in Surakarta. The community, together with the Office of Education and Culture of Central Java Province, prepared the academic papers for the plan to propose the element for inscription. This included interactions with bearers who ensured access to the element and its related information. Free, prior and informed consent is established and customary rights were respected based on the particular context with which the element is associated.

R.5:  The element is included in the inventory Intangible Cultural Heritage of Indonesia and is administered by the Directorate of Culture Safeguarding and four Offices of Cultural Value Preservation. Variations of the element are included in the inventory and are nominated as a single element in the nomination file. Inventories of the element are updated every six months. The process is led by the Office of Cultural Value Preservation in collaboration with the communities, groups and individuals concerned.

  1. Decides to inscribe Gamelan on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.