UNESCO Adds Unique Bulgarian Voices to World Masterpieces

Society | November 26, 2005, Saturday // 00:00

UNESCO has added the Bistrishki Babi - an ensemble of archaic polyphony, dances and ritual practices - to its list of masterpieces of oral and intangible human heritage.

This was the first nomination of Bulgaria under the Third Proclamation of Masterpieces of oral and intangible human heritage promoted by Prof Mila Santova, Director of the Institute of Folklore at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

The diploma of "world masterpiece" was officially handed down to Bulgarian Ambassador to France Irina Bokova, who is also a permanent representative of our country to UNESCO, by the organisation's Secretary General Koichiro Matsuura.

The polyphony is an archaic type of singing with distinctive melodies that has lived through the centuries, Prof Santova explained. The picturesque village of Bistritsa has preserved these unique practices and traditions until nowadays.

The UN cultural body added Friday 43 traditions to its list of intangible heritage treasures, including Brazil's samba, Japan's Kabuki, Turkey's whirling dervishes and a "cultural space" in a 17th century walled Colombian village.

Aside of the Bistrishki Babi, Bulgaria has some of its historic and cultural sites on the UNESCO list, including the Boyana Church (in Sofia), the Thracian Kazanlak Tomb, the Old Nessebar Town, etc.

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