Brazilian Samba de Roda, Japan’s Kabuki on UNESCO’s list of heritage masterpieces |

Brazilian Samba de Roda, Japan’s Kabuki on UNESCO’s list of heritage masterpieces

PARIS – The U.N. cultural body added dozens of regional traditions Friday to its list of intangible heritage treasures, including Brazil’s samba, Turkey’s whirling dervishes and a “cultural space” in a 17th-century walled Colombian village.UNESCO head Koichiro Matsuura, who announced the list of 43 traditions, said he was glad it included developing countries from Africa and elsewhere. Cultural traditions are chosen based upon their risk of disappearing, as well as their cultural value and importance to their communities.”Despite the vitality and the strength of these cultural expressions,” he said at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters, “they are many that need urgent and immediate safeguarding.”The list was the third issued by the U.N. organization, and “will probably be the last,” a UNESCO statement said. Countries submitted 64 applications this year, which the agency whittled down to 43.Samba de Roda, from Brazil’s Reconcavo de Bahia, originated from slave traditions in the area. It mixes music, dance and poetry into a genre that influenced the development of the urban samba that is today a major part of the South American country’s identity.Colombia’s Cultural Space of Palenque de San Basilio grew into a haven of musical and oral traditions, religious festivities and medical practices in a small village southeast of Cartagena, founded as a refuge for escaped slaves in the 17th century.Also listed was Japanese Kabuki, a highly stylized form of traditional theater, where men play all female roles. In Turkey’s whirling dervish ceremonies, skirt-wearing dancers of an ascetic Sufi religious order carry out gentle turns that build toward dynamic spins.Other honorees included a form of ethnic Berbers’ poetry from Algeria; a type of Khmer shadow theater from Cambodia; ox-herding traditions once used by coffee-growers in Costa Rica; Guatemalan drama based on myths about wars between Mayan groups; and orchestral music of Mozambique’s Chopi people involving xylophone-like timbala instruments.The list was created in 2001 to protect popular and traditional culture and now totals a cumulated 90 entries. It complements UNESCO’s World Heritage List of precious natural and cultural sites.Vail, Colorado

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