The United Nations cultural agency on Wednesday added representations from Bahrain and Morocco to its list of “intangible” heritage.
Bahrain, a Gulf country with a population of around 1.5 million, presented its nomination for a musical performance Fjiri, which commemorates the history of pearl diving.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced the registration on Twitter, as well as that of the Moroccan equestrian show of tbourida.
They were among 48 candidates from around the world considered for inscription on the list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity at an annual meeting led by UNESCO.
Bahrain’s Fjiri dates from the late 19th century, when “it was traditionally performed by pearl divers and pearl crews to express the hardships encountered at sea,” UNESCO said on its website.
âThe performers are seated in a circle, singing and playing different types of drums, finger chimes and a jahl, a clay pot used as an instrument,â he added.
“The center of the circle is occupied by the dancers and the lead singer”.
Fjiri “is seen as a way to express the bond between the Bahraini people and the sea,” UNESCO said.
Tbourida, also known as “fantasia”, is even older.
It dates from the 16th century and “simulates a succession of military parades, reconstituted according to ancestral Arab-Amazigh conventions and rituals”, specifies UNESCO.
The performances end with a burst of gunfire.
âThe customs and costumes of the riders represent their tribe or region, and are passed down from generation to generation within families, through oral traditions and observation.
Bahrain and Morocco were also among the 16 Muslim-majority countries that nominated Arabic calligraphy, a tradition in the Arab and Islamic worlds, which was previously added to the heritage list at this week’s meeting.
Wednesday also featured “the art of Palestinian embroidery”.
In its recognition, the UN agency said the intricate sewing crafts began in the villages, where women wear long dresses, pants, jacket, headdress and veil, each adorned with embroidery. .
“Originally made and worn in rural areas, the practice is now common throughout Palestine and among members of the diaspora,” the UN agency wrote.
The list of intangible heritage now includes nearly 500 inscriptions.