Art of Dombra Kuy and art of wit, as well as the skills in making yurts were inscribed on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

27 November 2014



The Kazakh traditional art of Dombra Kuy (Kazakhstan), Traditional knowledge and skills in making Kyrgyz and Kazakh yurts (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan) and Askiya, the art of wit (Uzbekistan) were among thirty four new elements have been inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage during the 9th Session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage from 26 to 28 November 2014.

The UNESCO Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held its session at the Head Quarters in Paris until 28 November. The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity includes elements that demonstrate the diversity of this heritage and raise awareness about its importance.

Kazakh traditional art of Dombra Kuy, Kazakhstan

The art of Dombra Kuy refers to a solo composition performed on a traditional pear-shaped, long-necked, two-stringed, plucked musical instrument. The music aims to connect people to their historic roots and traditions through classical and improvised pieces. It is performed at family and community gatherings, and is usually accompanied by narrated stories and legends. It plays an important role in strengthening social cohesion among Kazakh people while providing them with a sense of identity and belonging.

Traditional knowledge and skills in making Kyrgyz and Kazakh yurts (Turkic nomadic dwellings), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan

The yurt is a nomadic dwelling used among the Kazakh and Kyrgyz peoples. It has a wooden circular frame covered with felt and braided with ropes, and can be easily assembled and dismantled. The wooden frames are made by men and their apprentices, while women make the interior decorations and exterior coverings, ornamented with traditional zoomorphic, vegetative or geometric patterns. All festivities are held in a yurt, which remains a symbol of family and traditional hospitality, fundamental to the identity of the Kazakh and Kyrgyz peoples.

Decoration of kazakh yurt ©UNESCO Almaty















Askiya, the art of wit (Uzbekistan)

Askiya is a genre of Uzbek verbal folk art that takes the form of a dialogue between two or more participants, who exchange witticisms around a particular theme. Bearers and practitioners, mainly men, must master the particularities of the Uzbek language, and be able to improvise and reason quickly and skilfully, using humour and banter to great effect. The dialogues, although humorous, play an invaluable role in raising awareness of social tendencies and events, drawing attention to important issues through acute observation of daily life.


Askiya, the art of wit ©Republican Scientific-Methodological Center for Folk Art, 2012

Related link

Permanent link: http://en.unesco.kz/art-of-dombra-kuy-and-art-of-wit-as-well-as-the-skills-in-making-yurts-were-inscribed-on