The Turkmen traditions of making dutar and the art of playing it in combination with singing are included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
This decision was made at the 16th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee, which takes place online from December 13 to 18.
The nomination for inclusion in the list submitted by Turkmenistan has successfully passed the final examination, adding to the list of cultural heritage of the whole world.
The nomination accompanying note explains: “Dutar is a traditional instrument and musical genre from Turkmenistan. Dutar is a two-stringed lute with a long neck and a pear-shaped body covered with a thin wooden deck. The resonant body and soundboard are made from a piece of mulberry wood, and the neck is made from a dried apricot tree trunk.
To make a dutar body, the wood is rounded, hollowed out and polished. The wood for the coating is fired for up to 24 hours to remove moisture, then it is glued to the cavity of the dutar with bone glue. Finally, the fretboard, frets and strings are added and the instrument is tuned.
Dutar is an integral part of Turkmen culture and is used in all major genres of Turkmen music and singing. Music is divided into two types: dutarchi - dutar performer; and bakhshi - a performer who accompanies the play with singing. There are also several subtypes. For example, destanchi bakhshi is an epic genre that includes storytelling, singing and vocal improvisation, alternating poetry and prose. In Turkmenistan, dutar music is an integral part of holidays, ceremonies, national holidays, cultural festivals, public gatherings and entertainment programs.»
Indeed, it was so hundreds of years ago, and it is so today.
Arabic calligraphy, Congolese rumba, falconry, Maltese folk song tradition, Scandinavian clinker boat traditions, etc. - in total, about 30 new positions have also been added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. With them, the list of the intangible cultural world has increased today to 616 elements, corresponding to 138 countries.