Unesco world heritage sites are quite famous but how many of you know that Unesco doesn’t protect only physical areas and buildings but also intangible things?
Unesco intangible cultural heritage includes things such as rituals, oral traditions, festive events, performing arts, knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts and much more.
Intangible cultural heritage is important as much as physical areas and buildings because it helps preserve cultural diversity and encourage intercultural dialogue and mutual respect.
About intangible cultural heritahe Unesco says:
Italian intangible cultural heritage
The intangible cultural heritage list includes 15 Italian elements. Let’s see a couple of them.
Pupi siciliani is a marionette theatrical representation typical of Sicily. It started in the 19th century and since then its success increased, at least until the fifties. After then, thanks to the economic boom, many puppeteers stopped practicing this art and dedicated themselves to other jobs. Nowadays, only few puppeteers maintain the tradition of pupi siciliani.
The puppeteers carve, paint and construct their puppets using only traditional methods and with them they tell stories based on medieval chivalric literature such as The Song of Roland,
Saper fare liutario di Cremona
Cremona is famous for violin craftsmanship. To become a violinmaker, you’ve to attend a specific school based on a teacher-pupil relationship first and then do an apprenticeship in a local workshop.
Each violin is composed of more than 70 different pieces of wood, all carved by hand. Every part of the violin is made using specific types of wood, all seasoned naturally. For all these reasons, all the violins are different, even if they’re created by the same violinmaker. Each violinmaker usually constructs from three to six violins per year.
Nowadays violin craftsmanship is promoted by Consorzio Liutai Antonio Stradivari and by Associazione Liutaria Italiana.
Canto a tenore sardo
Canto a tenore is a style of folk polyphonic singing typical of Sardinia, that developed among shepherds. It’s usually performed in groups of four people standing in circle, and each one of them use a different voice: bassu, contra, boche and mesu boche.
Boche is the solo singer, the only one who sings a poem, while the other three voices create a chorus to accompany him.
If you’re curious to listen to canto a tenore sardo, have a look at the video below:
Original image by Stine86Engel