Two traditions from Croatia, Becarac singing and playing from Eastern Croatia and Nijemo Kolo, silent circle dance of the Dalmatian hinterland, are among the elements of "intangible heritage" added to UNESCO’s heritage list.
UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage, currently meeting in Bali, Indonesia until 29 November, has inscribed seven new elements, including two from Croatia, on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its morning session today.
Becarac style of singing and playing is popular throughout eastern Croatia and deeply rooted in the cultures of Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem. Lead Becarac singers "interchange vocal lines while creating, emulating and combining decasyllabic verses and shaping the melody, all the while accompanied by a group of singers and tambura band," the UNESCO website said.
"Nijemo kolo" is a silent closed circle dance performed by communities in the Dalmatian hinterland of southern Croatia. Passed on from generation to generation and nowadays through cultural clubs, Nijemo Kolo is today mostly performed at local fairs, carnivals and churches on saint days or regional and international festivals.
The latest additions to UNESCO’s heritage list brought the number of Croatian inscriptions to 12. Other inscriptions include: ojkanje singing; gingerbread craft from Northern Croatia; the Sinjska Alka, a knights’ tournament in Sinj; annual carnival bell ringers’ pageant from the Kastav area; the festivity of Saint Blaise, the patron of Dubrovnik; lacemaking in Croatia; procession Za Krizen (‘following the cross’) on the island of Hvar; spring procession of Ljelje/Kraljice (queens) from Gorjani; traditional manufacturing of children’s wooden toys in Hrvatsko Zagorje and two-part singing and playing in the Istrian scale.
UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage, has inscribed five more elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its afternoon session today, bringing to 14 the number of new elements inscribed on the Representative List so far this year.
Image: Nijemo Kolo, © Ministry of Culture Croatia