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Oskár Elschek: Wooden chalumeau - mythology or reality?

On 25 November 2005, Mária Krasnohorská, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to France and Slovak delegate for UNESCO, accepted the celebrative proclamation of the entry of a Slovak chalumeau in the List of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO from K. Matsuura, general director of UNESCO for science and culture. UNESCO awarded a total of 43 works.

This is an international recognition that UNESCO awards to extraordinary forms of folk and traditional expressions such as music, dance, national rituals and mythology, knowledge and practices regarding nature and world, experience connected with traditional production as well as unique cultural environments. At the same time it provides international support and protection to these forms of national culture.

The Slovak candidacy Chalumeau, a musical instrument and its music was judged by independent experts, and final approval was given by an international 18-member committee at the seat of UNESCO in Paris during 21 to 24 November 2005.

The chalumeau is a musical instrument created by central Slovak shepherds over hundreds of years of development as the continuation and spread of traditional pan-pipe culture, for its specific music signalization, and for its continually spreading specific instrumental and singing shepherds’ and brigand repertoire.

The chalumeau has not become a conserved part of folk production but is significantly active, and it entered the twenty-first century with the same glory and such a wide social and artistic diapason that no one would have presumed decades ago. The chalumeau has become part of the total movement of the restoration of traditions in Slovakia. Currently, there are up to 200 chalumeau working producers in Slovakia, also crafting pan-pipes, double-pipes and bag pipes and other tools as well as a wide variety of other traditional artistic products.




Further articles in the magazine Craft, Art, Design 01/2006:


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