Dutar is a UNESCO World Heritage Item

Dutar is a UNESCO World Heritage Item

At the 14th meeting of the UNESCO Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Bogota, Colombia, the production of a traditional musical instrument – dutar, and performing art, were included in the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the organization’s Internet portal reports.

The application was filed by Iran. This two-stringed plucked musical instrument is also common among the peoples of Iran, Central and South Asia. It is very popular in Turkmenistan, too.

Dutar is an integral part of the centuries-old musical culture of the Turkmen people. Not a single celebration, be it a wedding or a public holiday, is complete without performances by folk artists – bakhshi. In all ages, Bakhshis have been respected and valued by the people. Their names are overgrown with legends. The Bakhshi themselves, with the greatest care, were anxious about their dutar. They cherished like the apple of an eye, stored in special cases made of soft fabric and never borrowed anyone.

Turkmenistan knows the true case that happened with the famous dutarist Shukur-bakhshi. The unsurpassed musician with his skill in playing the dutar stopped the impending bloody battle with the soldiers of a neighboring country.

The well-deserved fame of the Bakhshis can rightfully be shared by the masters of the manufacture of dutars – usta. They enjoyed no less honor, their work was highly valued – they received a thoroughbred horse for a good dutar. The craft of the masters was inherited, from generation to generation. And today, the Bakhshis can name the names of the craftsmen who lived and made wonderful instruments a hundred or more years ago.