- Takes note that Belarus has nominated Shapavalstva (felt-making) and Katrushnitski Lemezen’: a traditional craft and the unique jargon of the Belarusian felt-makers for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, described as follows:
Shapavalstva is a traditional method for producing sheep wool felt goods, such as boots, hats, mittens, jackets and overcoats. The bearers of this tradition are some thirty felt-makers in the Dribin District, Mogilev Region of Belarus. Footwear made in this way from natural sheep wool is waterproof, does not lose its shape, warms the joints and helps to fight off rheumatism. The wool is also rich in lanolin, which heals wounds and fractures. It is obtained without harming the animals, and does not undergo chemical treatment. The craft is communicated in a unique trade jargon called Katrushnitski Lemezen’, found exclusively within this felt-making community. Its lexis contains about a thousand words and includes not only definitions of instruments and professional actions but everyday vocabulary, symbols of natural phenomena, expressions of feelings, and definitions of space and time. The skills and secrets of Shapavalstva are passed on within families from generation to generation. Local craftspeople involve their families and grandchildren in making felt goods, which they sell at marketplaces. The tradition of Shapavalstva is also supported by the local museum, which has compiled a historical database of the craft and hosts the Shapaval Association, a children’s studio and a felt-making workshop.
- Decides that, from the information provided in nomination file 00537, Shapavalstva (felt-making) and Katrushnitski Lemezen’: a traditional craft and the unique jargon of the Belarusian felt-makers satisfy the criteria for inscription on the Representative List, as follows:
R.3: Safeguarding efforts are being undertaken by the communities, and the commitment of the bearers, communities and the State Party is demonstrated;
R.4: Felt-makers, the Association of Dribin Shapavals, the Dribin History and Ethnographic Museum, the Ministry of Culture and local and national authorities participated actively in the nomination process, and provided their free, prior and informed consent;
R.5: At the request of the community, the element was included in 2010 in the State List of Historic and Cultural Values of the Republic of Belarus, maintained by the Ministry of Culture.
- Further decides that the information provided in nomination file 00537, Shapavalstva (felt-making) and Katrushnitski Lemezen’: a traditional craft and the unique jargon of the Belarusian felt-makers, is not sufficient to allow the Committee to determine whether the criteria for inscription on the Representative List are satisfied, as follows:
R.1: Additional information would be needed to identify the scope of the element clearly as well as the specific roles and characteristics of its practitioners and its social and cultural functions of this element, the current modes of transmission of its skills and the reasons it is considered as part of the cultural heritage of a community;
R.2: The nomination emphasizes the commercial benefits of inscription but does not provide sufficient information on how inscription of the element would contribute to ensuring broad visibility of the intangible cultural heritage or to encouraging intercultural dialogue, or how the risks of over-commercialization would be mitigated.
- Decides to refer the nomination of Shapavalstva (felt-making) and Katrushnitski Lemezen’: a traditional craft and the unique jargon of the Belarusian felt-makers to the submitting State Party and invites it to resubmit the nomination in a subsequent cycle, providing the additional information specified as regards criteria R.1 and R.2.