Since this Wednesday, transhumance and the technique of blown glass in Spain have been Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This has been decided by the UNESCO committee, meeting this week in Kasene (Botswana). The international transhumance candidacy was led by Spain, and recognizes this type of herding also in Albania, Andorra, Croatia, France, Luxembourg and Romania, the Ministry of Culture reported in a statement. It already had this recognition in Austria, Greece and Italy, so there are 10 countries that share this heritage.
Spain has 125,000 kilometers of livestock routes, which cover the entire peninsular territory and the islands, which show that transhumance is a widespread practice in all autonomous communities. Today, the seasonal movement of herds, with their passage from the winter pastures to the summer pastures and vice versa, remains a living heritage that has created “a rich cultural and ethnographic heritage, reflected in festivals and traditions, in the toponymy, gastronomy and architecture”, adds the note. Also “the manifestations of oral tradition, crafts and traditional grazing techniques, as well as the management of pastures within the framework of customary law, are elements that the nomadic culture helped to transmit as it passed through the different peninsular territories” .
Furthermore, the technique of blown glass in Spain has been inscribed on the List of Representative Manifestations of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as part of the international candidacy shared with the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany and Hungary. It is an award for “knowledge, artisanal techniques and skills in glass manufacturing.”
The blown glass technique “is a knowledge linked to Spanish culture, with large production centers dating back more than three centuries, such as the National Center of La Granja Glass, in Segovia, or Gordiola Glass, in Mallorca.” The processes of the blown glass technique, its knowledge, products, instruments and associated machinery, as well as architectural spaces “present a set of historical, immaterial, technological and artistic values that deserve to be preserved.”
In addition, nearly 140 workshops of artisans and artists throughout Spain, in some cases linked to museums, “seek to revitalize and give visibility to characteristic productions of already extinct centers.”
With these two new inscriptions, Spain has 21 cultural manifestations declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Next year, new candidatures are expected to be evaluated by UNESCO, such as the Asturian Cider Culture; as well as the expansion for the autonomous communities of Madrid, the Canary Islands and Murcia of The Art of Dry Stone, declared Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2018.
Finally, Culture reports that in the next General Assembly of States Parties to UNESCO, which will be held in mid-2024, the countries that will be part of the evaluation committee for the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity candidatures will be decided. Spain aspires to join that group, of which it was already a member from 2009 to 2013, in order to be an active part in decision-making.
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