The Elechek, Kyrgyz female headwear, was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage on December 6.

According to the Organization, the decision was made unanimously at the 18th session of UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which is taking place from 4 to 9 December 2023 in Kasane, Botswana. Of the 60 nominations presented this year, the nomination “Elechek, Kyrgyz female headwear: traditional knowledge and rituals” is one of 18 nominations recognized by international experts as the best and well-prepared.

Work on the preparation of this nomination was carried out by the Ministry of Culture, Information, Sports and Youth Policy of the Kyrgyz Republic, the public foundation “Min Kiyal”, the Permanent Delegation of the Kyrgyz Republic to UNESCO, the National Commission of the Kyrgyz Republic for UNESCO over the past 3 years and was presented in UNESCO Secretariat in 2021.

President Sadyr Japarov, during a meeting with UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay on November 10, 2023, within the framework of the 42nd session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris, noted importance of the traditional women’s headwear Elechek for the Kyrgyz people and expressed hope for support for the inclusion of the nomination in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

IThe Committee is considering 60 nominations for inscription into the Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage, including “Summer Carnival in Rotterdam (Netherlands), “Dabka, traditional Palestinian dance” (Palestine), “Traditional craftsmanship associated with the production of satin fabrics and adrasa” (Tajikistan), “The Art of Ceramics in Uzbekistan” (Uzbekistan), “The Art of Opera Singing” (Italy), “Season of Alpine Meadows” (Switzerland).

To date, 705 elements of cultural heritage from around the world have been added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.

From Kyrgyzstan, 15 elements were included in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, including the epic trilogy “Manas, Semetey, Seitek”, “The Art of Akyns”, “The Art of Making Felt Carpets: Ala-kiyiz, Shyrdak”, “Traditional Knowledge and Skills for Making yurts” (Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan), “The Art of Improvisation of Aytysh” (Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan), “The culture of making thin bread: lavash, katyrma, zhupka, yufka” (multinational nomination), “Nooruz” (multinational nomination), “National equestrian game Kok boru”, “Traditional knowledge and skills for making and wearing men’s headdress Ak kalpak”, etc.