The equestrian art of Morocco, Tbourida, on the UNESCO list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity

UNESCO integrated, this Wednesday, the Moroccan equestrian art of Tbourida into its intangible cultural heritage, a status allowing the preservation of this ancestral equestrian practice very popular in Morocco.

The inscription of Tbourida on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity was announced by UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Committee, which is examining during its ongoing online session (December 13-18) 55 new listing requests submitted by States Parties.

Tbourida is part of Morocco’s national heritage and is a major component of horse-related practices. This equestrian art, deeply rooted in Moroccan culture, is associated with both national and regional festivities.

Tbourida also crystallizes multiple dimensions of intangible cultural heritage, including rituals, skills and know-how related to traditional dress, craftsmanship, in addition to the oral heritage inseparable from this equestrian practice and the horse.

Tbourida is a Moroccan horse show dating from the 16th century. It simulates a succession of military parades, reconstituted according to Arab-Amazigh ancestral conventions and rituals. Each tbourida is performed by a troupe made up of an odd number of riders and horses (between 15 and 25), specifies UNESCO in a press release, describing in detail the practice of this art.

Morocco Tbourida’s application file was officially submitted in 2019. This file was drawn up by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, in partnership with the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Horses (SOREC) and the Royal Moroccan Federation of equestrian sports.

About Wesley V. Finley

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