Hezhen Yimakan storytelling UNESCO Marks

ICH Domain Oral traditions and representations, Urgent Safeguarding List
Name of UNESCO List Urgent Safeguarding List
Type of UNESCO List
Incribed year in UNESCO List
Local Name “Yimakan” in Hezhen; “赫哲族伊玛堪” in Han Chinese.
Location (Address) The traditional practices of Yimakan Storytelling are distributed primarily in Jiamusi City and Shuangyashan City of Heilongjiang Province of China, ranging from 121°13' to 135°east longitude, and 43°22' to 53°24' north latitude.
Information Source (Website) http://iel.cass.cn
Name of National List National List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
Management Organization of National List Intangible Cultural Heritage Department of the Ministry of Culture of China
Summary Narrated by means of both verse and prose in the Hezhen language, Yimakan storytelling, with its profound manifestation of heroic past, is an oral genre that has existed for hundreds of years. It consists of many independent cantos, largely centered on depicting tribal alliance and battles in defense of ethnic dignity and territorial integrity, including the conquest of monsters and invaders by Hezhen heroes. This oral heritage embodies a search for liberty and love, preserves traditional knowledge procedures for conducting Shamanistic rituals, and even teaches its communities about daily chores. These time-honored oral narratives reveal the centrality of fishing and hunting to the cultural expressions and verbal arts, and as such are essential to Hezhens’ life-world and historical memories. Beginning as amateurs, the Yimakan performers (known as ‘Yimakanqi mafa’ in Hezhen) are usually trained within their own clans and families. A Yimakanqi mafa performs a story without instrumental accompaniment, alternating between singing and speaking. Without a script, Yimakan has long provided the ideal means for preserving the Hezhens’ mother tongue and mentalities, civilization and norms, and religion and beliefs, as well as folklore and customs. It is thus called the only “living history” linking the Hezhens’ past to present
Information source http://www.hezhezu.com