UNESCO Adds Production of Chiprovtsi Carpets to ‘Intangible Heritage’ List

Society » CULTURE | November 26, 2014, Wednesday // 20:24
Bulgaria: UNESCO Adds Production of Chiprovtsi Carpets to ‘Intangible Heritage’ List Photo by Bulgaria's Culture Ministry

The production of Chiprovtsi carpets has been inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The Chipovtsi carpet is a type of handmade carpet with two absolutely identical sides.

It is a flat, two-sided floor covering weave done on a vertical loom.

Its name is derived from the northwestern town of Chiprovtsi where their production started in the 17th century.

The carpets are made of natural materials like cotton and wool. Their thickness is 3–5 mm. The basic colors are yellow, brown, red, blue and green, according to Wikipedia.

The weaving of the flat, two-sided Chiprovtsi carpets is the third Bulgarian element on the list alongside the Nestinarstvo fire-dancing riteand the Bistrishki Babi (Grannies of Bistritsa) folklore group from the village of Bistritsa.

The nomination was defended by a team headed by Professor Mila Santova from the  Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum, which also included Assistant Professor Iva Stanoeva, and Assistant Professor Miglena Ivanova.

Chiprovtsi carpets have for a long time been available on the regional and world trade fairs, expositions and markets.

The inscription of Chiprovtsi carpets will contribute to the visibility of Southeast European heritage related to traditional woven covering and will boost knowledge about the cultural diversity in this part of the world.

On a local level, it will reaffirm the value of cultural activities involved in the production of Chiprovtsi carpets.

Traditional diachronic transmission of carpet weaving skills – from mothers and grand-mothers to daughters or grand-daughters – is well-preserved in the region.

Weaving is often mastered informally while working together on big carpets.

Traditional informal family education is regularly supplemented by formal courses at “Petar Bogdan 1909” chitalishte and “Petar Parchevich” State School where the tutors are carefully chosen between the best masters in the town.

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Tags: UNESCO, Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists, Chiprovtsi, Chipovtsi carpet, cultural heritage
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