Naqqali, Iranian dramatic story-telling UNESCO Marks

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ICH Domain Oral traditions and representations, Performing Arts, Traditional craft skills, Urgent Safeguarding List
Name of UNESCO List Urgent Safeguarding List
Type of UNESCO List
Incribed year in UNESCO List
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Local Name Naqqāli - Vāqe'e Xāni Because of its variety in forms, the element may be addressed with other names. However, the style of nameing the element follows a historical tradition: the first part usually refers to the genere of the tale, or the title of the book from which the tale may be recited, or the type of the poem, or even the name of the props being used by Naqqāl, and the second part is Xāni, refering to reciting and/or singing, such as Shāhnāme-Xāni, Beyt-Xāni (a kurdish type), Naql-Xān
Location (Address) Most bearers of the elment live in villages, remote towns; just a few of them live in such big cities as Tehran, Shiraz, Mashad, Isfahan, etc. These bearers are few in number, yet  they can still be found throughout Iran.
Name of National List National Inventory of Iranian Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding
Management Organization of National List Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO)
Summary Naqqāli is an Iranian traditional theatre form, originated in ancient Iran. This dramatic performance concerns the telling of a story, history or non-history based, in a variety of genres. It is mostly  told by one person, sometimes up to three. It is done either in verse or prose, and accompanied by gestures and movements appropriate to the event. The purpose is to captivate the audience and pull them for a moment to the world of the story. In terms of performing conventions, two main categories of this dramatic form include: a)Naqqāli accompanied by instrumental-music: The Naqqāl, usually plays a stringed instrument, and sings the story. b)Naqqāli without instrumental-music: The Naqqāl may accompany the narration with some verses sung in parts of the performance, but no instrumental-music is applied. In this case, the Naqqāl's talent in utilizing such techniques as changing the countenance, or using different tones, playes a crucial role.  In terms of using additional props, picture narration is also a special sort of the second category. These Naqqāls are popularly called “Parde-Xān”; they may stand beside a painted screen, called “Parde”, use a stick (“metrāq”, “Chubdast”) to point to the section of the painting being mentioned in the story. 
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