Decisión del Comité intergubernamental: 16.COM 8.b.45

The Committee,

  1. Takes note that Ukraine has nominated Ornek, a Crimean Tatar ornament and knowledge about it (no. 01601) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Ornek is a Ukrainian system of symbols and their meanings, currently used in embroidery, weaving, pottery, engraving, jewellery, wood carving, and glass and wall painting. The symbols are arranged to create a narrative composition. The Crimean Tatar communities understand the meaning of the symbols and often commission artisans to create certain compositions with specific meanings. Geometric ornaments are primarily used in weaving, whereas floral ornaments are used in all other folk crafts, including those not traditionally practised by Crimean Tatars, such as glass painting, wall painting or canvas wall art. Common symbols include plants and trees, symbolizing people of different genders and ages. There are around thirty-five symbols in total, each with its unique meaning and connotations. For instance, a rose symbolizes a married woman, a poplar or cypress symbolizes an adult man, a tulip symbolizes a young man, and an almond symbolizes an unmarried woman or girl. A carnation symbolizes an older person, wisdom and life experience. The symbolism of the floral ornaments is always emphasized by the unique colour palette and symbol combinations. For instance, a tulip within a rose symbolizes the love or union of a man and a woman. Many symbols are used as protective charms. The associated knowledge and skills are transmitted by skilled artisans within families and communities, in informal contexts such as embroidery classes, and in formal contexts such as universities.

  1. Considers that, from the information included in the file, and the information provided by the submitting State through the dialogue process, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

R.1:  Bearers and practitioners are artisans of all genders and age groups. Some skills, such as embroidery, are practised primarily by women, whereas others, such as engraving and woodcarving, are practised primarily by men. The associated knowledge and skills are transmitted by artisans within families and communities, in informal contexts such as embroidery classes, and in formal contexts coordinated by the Kyiv State Institute of Decorative and Applied Art and Design and the Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts. The practice is a form of ethnic self-identification for practitioners and bearers and can be used for weddings and in everyday life.

R.2:  At the local level, inscription would give greater visibility to craftspeople and bearers of the element through the media and at exhibitions, workshops and presentations about the element. The public would also be more aware of the symbolic meanings associated with the element. At the national level, it would make it possible to share more information about the element and its manifestations and about the intangible cultural heritage of Crimean Tatar communities. Inscription would also enhance awareness about Ukrainian living heritage as a whole and about its multi-ethnicity. At the international level, inscription would contribute to a strengthened sense of belonging and identity among Crimean Tatar communities. Dialogue among creative personalities and the Crimean Tatar diaspora would also be enhanced. The element itself is a creative expression and is open to innovation and adoption of knowledge from other nations.

R.3:  The element has survived due to the efforts of its bearers to pass on their knowledge and the links of the element to the rites and traditions of Crimean Tatar families. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Crimean Tatar association Chatyr Dag organized expeditions to document the element and interview elders about the meanings of the ornaments in their possession. Measures also included informal teaching about weaving techniques and embroidery. The State has facilitated and organized various activities between 2001 and 2019, including the study of Ornek in educational contexts, a virtual museum, an illustrated catalogue and exhibits. Some measures are outlined for implementation, including encouraging the teaching of the Ornek system between bearers and apprentices, one-week training courses on ornamental composition, and the publication of an embroidery training manual, children’s column and colouring book to learn about the meanings of the ornaments. The State will provide financial support and work with bearers to implement the measures.

R.4:  The file outlines a participation process that involves Ornek artisan associations and bearers of various Ornek craft practices, all of which include women. The process was launched in 2018 with the aim of preparing an information file, raising funds and developing the nomination file. Free, prior and informed consent is established via letters of consent attached to the nomination file.

R.5:  The element has been included since 2018 on the National List of Elements of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Ukraine. The inventory is administered by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. The element was identified by weavers and embroiderers during the 1990s with the idea of inscription coming in 2016. The Ukrainian Centre for Cultural Research updates the inventory annually in cooperation with the non-governmental organization Alem, which provides information about the element. The report is then submitted to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, which, through an Expert Body on Intangible Cultural Heritage, recommends updating the list.

  1. Decides to inscribe Ornek, a Crimean Tatar ornament and knowledge about it on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.