UNESCO supports traditional craftsmanship

5 December 2006

Almaty, December 2006 The announcement of the 2006 UNESCO SEAL of Excellence for Handicrafts took place in Almaty on 2 December at a ceremony organized by the Center of Decorative and Applied Arts Bakhyt and the Central Asian Crafts Support Association (CACSA), at the Republican Childrens Palace.

SEAL of Excellence for handicraft products enhances the international awareness of the crafts of Central Asia. At the same time, it serves as a quality control mechanism and as a marketing tool for progress in the global craft market of traditional and innovative craft products from the given region. 28 craftsmen received the SEAL certificate in recognition of the outstanding quality of their product.

More than 120 products ranging from traditionally woven textiles to ceramics and silverware were submitted from 5 participating countries in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) for this years programme.

An international panel of judges and experts in design, marketing and handicraft production gathered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in September to judge the submissions that are reviewed against six key criteria, incorporating excellence, innovation, authenticity, marketability, eco-friendliness and social responsibility.

Established to encourage craft-workers to use traditional skills and materials, the SEAL looks to ensure the continuation of traditional knowledge and the preservation of cultural diversity in the region. By recognizing such attributes in craftsmanship, the programme aims to set quality standards, raise international awareness and strengthen market demand for Asian handicraft products.

The programme was originally established in Southeast Asia in 2001 by UNESCO and the ASEAN Handicraft Promotion and Development Association (AHPADA) and was expanded to Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) and South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) in 2004.

The SEAL of Excellence programme has received a growing interest among artisans and various actors in the handicrafts world and is used as a model to elaborate other projects for the support of traditional craftsmanship, such as the initiative of the Eurasia Foundation in Kazakhstan, in which UNESCO participates. In 2006/2007 it is foreseen to extend the SEAL of Excellence to the five following sub-regions: West Africa, East Africa, North Africa/Arab States, Central America and the Caribbean, and Central Europe. Furthermore, the SEAL will continue to be awarded in Central Asia, South-East Asia and South Asia.

Awarded Products of 2006 UNESCO Seal of Excellence for Central Asia:

Kazakhstan: Set stagan for Honorary Guests, Ms. Ludmila Kosova "Togyz Kumalak", Mr. Serjan Bashirov Bracelet "Otrar", Mr. Mukazhanov Amangeldi

Kyrgyzstan: Wall-hanging made of felt pieces, Asakhi Firm Felt slippers Fantasy, Ms. Aidai Asangulova Felt composition Christmas in Kyrgyzstan, Ms. Kalipa Asanakunova "Inflorescence" series of felt rings, Ms. Tatyana Vorotnikova Set of ladies' embellishments "Tulipe Revolution", Ms. Tatyana Vorotnikova Merino felt carpet - Shyrdak of turquise color, Public Foundation MSDSP KG Set of felt pillows, Ms. Fariza Sheisheyeva Line of dresses with a cape: 2 sets of felt and natural silk, Ms. Gulnura Kydyrova Miniature dolls "Alymkan and Toktogul", Ms. Alina Jirgalbek kyzy Line "Saimaly-Tash" wall decorative dishes and vases, clay, Mr. Jumagul Tashiyev

Tajikistan: Suzane traditional wall-hanging, Ms. Mukaram Kayumova, Ms. Guljahon Alikhanova National traditional adornments, Mr. Niyozali Eshburiev

Turkmenistan: Turkmen national puppet theatre doll, Ms. Nina Kazumina

Uzbekistan: "Janda" cloth, very old traditional textile, Mr. Aripov Alim Kitchen set and cotton cloth of local production, Ms. Gulnara Embergenova Handmade cotton and woolen carpet with natural dyes, Ms. Kadyrova Fazilat Suzane handmade silk embroidery, natural dyes, Ms. Khalimova Hilola Handmade silk and woolen carpet of Boysun school, natural dyes,Ms. Eshankulova Rozia National shoes, embroidery, natural leather, Mr. Khotamov Nuriddin Tea set in traditional style of Rishtan school (ceramics), Mr. Usmanov Rustam Set of wooden caskets, Ms. Ibragimova Mukharam Collection of "luvkh" stands, Mr Sattorov Zarif Ttray, Mr. Ahmedov Farhod Uzbek ear-rings "Baldok", typical for women from the Fergana Valley, Mr. Fozilov Kodyrjon Breast adornment "Tapish" of Bukhara school, Mr.Khaidarov Alisher

Permanent link: http://en.unesco.kz/unesco-supports-traditional-craftsmanship