Community-Based Inventorying and Documentation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage conducted in Mondulkiri Province

A three-day workshop on Community-Based Inventorying and Documentation of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) was organized by the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, the Cambodian National Commission for UNESCO, the Provincial Department of Culture and Fine Arts of Mondulkiri Province, and UNESCO in Mondulkiri Province from 9 to 11 March 2022, in view to establish the national inventorying form.

In total 106 participants attended the workshop, including national officials in charge of the Intangible Cultural Heritage from 25 provinces of Cambodia, representatives of minorities groups, officials from Academies from the Royal Academy of Cambodia and the Royal University of Fine Arts, international and local NGOs, youth, and filmmakers from Ratanakiri Province, and Intangible Cultural Heritage practitioners from communities, and UNESCO team from Phnom Penh Office.

The workshop was aiming at making all participants better understand the core spirit of the UNESCO 2003 Convention, at testing and finitizing the inventorying form of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The first day of the workshop focused on the key concepts and objectives of the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the ICH while explaining to the participants the five domains of the intangible cultural heritage, the draft ICH inventory form, and the role of each stakeholder in the safeguarding activities. The second day focused on the understanding of the local intangible cultural heritage of Mondulkiri Province, especially from minorities groups, while testing the draft inventorying form to document six ICH elements of the Bunong minorities groups in the Putaing village. Inventoried elements are bamboo basket weaving, cotton craft weaving, jar rice wine production, Prong soup preparation (Bunong traditional dish), Rolet (Bunong traditional musical instrument similar to a flute with a gourd and several bamboo tubes) and Rongvat (Bunong traditional musical instrument similar to a flute with a gourd but a single bamboo tube).

The last day focused on the report presentations from the six participant groups, using the filled-out inventory form, videos, PowerPoint, and some traditional tools which were used to perform the local ICH in the village. The participants shared the strengths and weaknesses of the ICH inventory form and made concrete suggestions to the Ministry staff for the improvement of the form. This pioneer workshop will be organized in a few other locations in Cambodia to develop the form and system involving different levels of stakeholders including ICH practitioners, local community, academia, NGOs, national officials who play an important role in the safeguarding of the ICH.


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