Home News Al Talli, Al Heda’a and Date Palm included in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list for 2022

Al Talli, Al Heda’a and Date Palm included in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list for 2022

by Dubai Forum
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ABU DHABI, 8th December, 2022 (WAM) — The Ministry of Culture and Youth has announced inscription of three intangible cultural heritage elements on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity for the year 2022.

The inclusions, namely Al Talli, Al Heda’a and the Date Palm, were announced at the seventeenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco in Rabat from 28th November to 3rd December 2022.

The annual gathering was attended by representatives of States Parties, non-governmental organisations, cultural institutions and other stakeholders from across the globe to nominate relevant files.

Commenting on the three intangible heritage inclusions, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, and Chair of the National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, said, “I am very proud of these inscriptions as they showcase our genuine Emirati heritage passed down from centuries and also illustrate the elements of our shared Arab heritage that we share with countries across the region. The government of the UAE is focused on safeguarding heritage and preserving it for the present and future generations for them to stay connected with their roots and value their legacy.”

“I would like to thank Dubai Culture and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) who have led the initiatives on Al Talli and Alheda’a and date palm, respectively. This inclusion would not have been possible without the wide participation of individuals, groups, and communities, including local governments, local communities, NGOs, research institutes, and others.

“The Ministry of Culture, along with the local heritage bodies, will continue to support cooperation between public corporations and NGOs when implementing the safeguarding measures for our precious intangible heritage,” she added.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, stated, “In partnership with neighbouring countries like Qatar, the inclusion of Al Talli, Al Heda’a and the date palm on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity is a great achievement that reinforces our nation’s position as an incubator of rich national and regional heritage. We at DCT Abu Dhabi believe in the power of heritage as a platform for the convergence of cultures, and a driver of joint international action based on the universal human values of security, peace, progress, and prosperity. That is why culture and heritage are at the forefront of our growth strategy for Abu Dhabi, in line with the directives of our wise leadership.”

Al Talli file was nominated as a national file of the UAE. It refers to the art of embroidering women’s clothes using brightly coloured threads neatly knitted into the sleeves and other parts of female robes. Al Talli embroidery is almost entirely a female craft. Around 4000 women belonging to different tribes in the country currently practice this traditional craft.

Also called Talli Bawadil, Talli Batool and Sein, this traditional embroidery skill is practiced widely in the UAE across all emirates.

Al Heda’a file was nominated as a joint file with the UAE, the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This oral tradition of calling a flock of camels has been passed on through the generations. Long ago, it was a practice associated with walking alongside caravans during desert journeys. Currently, it is used to steer and calm a flock of camels by using oral sounds, gestures and instruments while herding.

The Date Palm file was nominated as a joint file led by the UAE and included the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen. Date palms are widespread in the Arab region and have been associated with its communities for centuries, constituting a key nutritional source, giving rise to a number of professions, and providing materials and inspiration for various crafts, social customs and cultural practices.

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