Ala-kiyiz and Shyrdak, art of Kyrgyz traditional felt carpets UNESCO Marks

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ICH Domain Social practices, rituals, festive events, Knowledge and practices about nature and the universe, 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 Aла-кийиз менен шырдак: кыргыз улуттук кийиздерди жасоо онору
Safeguarding Policy Full title: Law on Intangible Cultural Heritage of Kyrgyz Rpublic   Section/Division in charge : Ministry of Culture   Year of Establishment : January 1. 1982   Established under the Intellectual Property Act No 36 of 2003. Mandated with the administration of the intellectual Property System in Sri Lanka. First established on January 1, 1982 with the same mandate under the provisions of Code of intellectual property Act no 52 of 1979.   Particular articles related to ICH:     Article1. The scope of this Act  The present Law regulatesrelations arisinginsphere of identification,preservation and use of intangible cultural heritage of Kyrgyz Republic (hereinafter - the intangible culturalheritage), sets out the empowerment of state authorities of Kyrgyz Republic in the development of the intangible cultural heritage.     Article2. The basic concepts usedin this Act   Definitions used in this Law have the following meanings.  1. Object of the intangible cultural heritage - is the customs, representations, expressions, knowledge and skills, as well as related tools, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces with and without individual authorship recognized as cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation constantly reconstituted by communities and groups, showing the cultural diversity of the nation of Kyrgyz Republic, which represents the historical and cultural significance,and included in the National List of Intangible cultural Heritage.    2. National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Kyrgyz Republic (here in after -the National List) - approved by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic , which includes the collection of objects of intangible cultural heritage, unity and consistency, which are ensured by the formation of general principles, methods and forms of the list.    "Epic" is the kind of literature, the narrative of the event sallegedin the past (as it happened, and remember by the narrator). The epic consists of plots and genres of play in gaction in the space-time event-length and saturation.Epic genres: large - an epic novel, epic(epic poem), medium - a novel, small- the story, short story, essay. -"Art of Narrative"- the art of storytelling - manaschy;   "Oral Tradition" - folklore, represented by the epic works, folklore (proverbs, sanata, fairy tales, mysteries, myths and legends), the art of storytrelling - manaschy and performing arts of akyns (authors);  - "The Cultural Space" - an area of social and geographical environment, represents a unique area of the most kept the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the nation; - "The forms of representation"  - examples of folk art (wares of felt, chii, wood, leather, etc.) as the basic values of culture;  - "The forms of expression" – fist of all, language, folk songs and melodies (kyuu), characterizing the elements of the intangible cultural heritage of the Kyrgyz nation; - "Customs"  - rich in the content of the ethno-cultural complexity, a form of collective human experience, which is the continuous and reproductive on the basis of the space-time transmission. Customs, to a certain extent, have a dominant role because they are related to the milestones of life: from birth to funeral and memorial cycle;  - "Rites" - part of spirituality and way of life of people, regulated by the religious and everyday concepts, having ritual mainings.   3. The empowered government body - the body of state power of KyrgyzRepublic (hereinafter - authorized state agency), which in accordance with the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic has the authority to regulate matters of identification, preservation and use of cultural heritage of the Kyrgyz Republic.      Article 3. Main types and protection of intangible cultural heritage objects   1. Types of intangible cultural heritage objects in the KyrgyzRepublic are epics, oral traditions and expressions including language as a vehicle of intangible cultural heritage; narrative art, customs, rituals, folk holidays,  knowledge and skills associated with traditional crafts, which are the cultural values of the nation of Kyrgyzstan.   2. The objects of intangible cultural heritage are used for spiritual and cultural development of the nation of Kyrgyz Republic, as well as in scientific, academic, educational, tourist and excursion purposes.   3. Protection of the Intangible heritage is provided by means of modern information and communication technologies, popularization and transmission of spiritual heritage to younger generations, conducting research, inventing databases of various forms of intangible cultural heritage of the nation of KyrgyzRepublic.   4. Protection of intangible cultural heritage objects, which are included into the National List, is carried out within the financial resources of relevant ministries and departments and approved annually in the state budget, donations and other sources not prohibited by the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic.     Article 4.The National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage Objects of the Kyrgyz Republic   1. The Government of the KyrgyzRepublic approves the National List of  Intangible Cultural Heritage Objects of the KyrgyzRepublic, takes measures for their conservation, use and further development.   2. The inclusion decision of the intangible cultural heritage in the National List (or exclusion) made by the authorized state body of the KyrgyzRepublic on the advice of the interagency commission.   3. Interdepartmental Commission carries out its activities on the constant basis in accordance with current tasks, and annually adopts a work plan. It also defines the procedure for monitoring, maintaining and inclusion of the object in the National List.   4. The objects of intangible cultural heritage from the moment of the inclusion in the National List are the property of the Kyrgyz Republic and are subject to mandatory protection and conservation in the manner provided in accordance with the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic.     Article 5. Competence of the authorized state body for protection and use of intangible cultural heritage   -Monitoring the condition of the intangible cultural heritage;   -Creation of conditions and taking measures for conservation and development of intangible cultural heritage objects;   - Implementation and notation of the target programs for approval by the government of the Kyrgyz Republic, which are aimed at the revival, preservation, use and popularization of intangible cultural heritage;-Development of International cooperation in the field of conservation and use of intangible cultural heritage objects;   -Implementation of activities to raise public awareness about intangible cultural heritage objects.   Information source:   1. Name : Nazgul Mekeshova senior specialist on the culture management in the regions   2. Telephone : ,+99612 621331   3. Affliation : Ministry of Culture and Inforamtion   
Location (Address) In the past, felt carpets were used by people all over the country. Nowadays, felt carpets are still used by people in the villages, but less every year.  Production of Ala-kiyiz and Shirdaks are spread mostly in remote mountain areas of two northern provinces of Kyrgyzstan: Naryn and Issyk-kul. It is recognized that the best felt carpet production is centered in Naryn province, particularly in the At-Bashy district.  In the other five provinces of Kyrgyzstan, felt carpets have nearly disappeared.  In Osh province, compared to Shyrdaks, Ala-kiyiz felt carpets are more well known. In cities, felt carpets are not produced and are used less. Similar types of felt carpet making are practiced in the neighbouring country of Kazakhstan; though there are some differences in felt manufacturing techniques, color combination and ornamentation.
Name of National List National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage
Management Organization of National List Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Summary Traditional felt carpets represent one of the identity codes of the Kyrgyz people, and their recognizable, ethnographic features are an integral part of Kyrgyz cultural heritage. Kyrgyz people traditionally produce two types of felt carpets: Ala-kiyiz and Shyrdaks. Knowledge, skills, diversity, the semantics of ornaments, and the ceremonies of creating carpets, are all important cultural components. They provide Kyrgyz people with a sense of identity and continuity. Both types of felt carpets mentioned above are included into the set of a traditional bride’s dowry.  Shyrdaks sometimes are gifted for house-warming parties. The making of Kyrgyz felt carpets is inseparably linked with the everyday lifestyle of nomads, who used felt carpets to warm and decorate their homes. Ala-kiyiz are usually placed in the kitchen and the entrance area of the house. Shyrdaks are more complicated to produce and are more expensive, thus they are placed at the honourable part of the dwelling. The felt carpets' ornaments reflect their creators’ outlooks and ideas about the Earth, water, mountains, celestial bodies and fertility.  Creation of felt carpets has an important social function, because it demands the community’s unity and fosters the transmission of traditional knowledge. The labour is traditionally paid through barter and exchange. Shyrdaks and Ala-kiyiz are produced by neighbour communities, who are, in turn, reimbursed by the harvest or through other services. Thus, the tradition of making felt carpets enhances sustainable economic development of the community.  The carriers of the traditional knowledge needed to make Ala-kiyiz and Shyrdaks are, as a rule, older women. They are concentrated in rural, mountainous areas. Practitioners are mostly women over 40 years old. The younger generations are widely unattracted to the arduous handmade process of felt carpet making.  The few young practitioners about are mostly children of artisans.  Ala-kiyiz are completely the products of teamwork. Usually, the eldest woman supervises the process, hence leading the group of artisans. The rest of the women do the main work:  processing wool, pressing felt, and producing the final product. Men also participate in the process: they shear sheep, prepare the firewood, heat water, participate in felt pressing, and later, sell the felt products in the markets. An obligatory attribute in creating Ala-kiyiz and Shyrdaks, is a blessing of the felt carpet making process, given by the elders of the community, in the beginning and at the end of the work.  Shyrdak making is divided into several steps. Preparation of the basic felt is a collective work, but one woman, with the support of a couple of relatives, should complete the final product. Therefore, a Shyrdak is recognized as more of an individual's work.  Special respect is given to a person who creates the patterns for the felt carpets. The craftsman keeps in his/her memory a great variety of ornaments. Decorating a Shrydak with ornaments is a very special creative process. Sometimes it is related to the theme of a special dedication.  The ornament is outlined on a felt layer without any preliminary drawing. The craftsman has the knowledge of selecting colours and designing the final product. The work of the ornament- maker on Ala-kiyiz, as well as the patterns-cutter for Shyrdaks, is gifted or paid separately. Nowadays, most artisans have lost these skills, and use templates of patterns, instead.  The current mode of transmission of the knowledge and skills of Ala-Kiyiz and Shyrdak production has remained as it was--traditional. All production stages are transmitted through practical joint work. As a rule, knowledge and skills are transmitted to young girls from their mothers and grandmothers, and from other experienced artisans of the community. Today, trainings are organized. Local TV-channels have programs showing the Ala-Kiyiz and Shyrdak production techniques; but they are spontaneous, not regular, and are merely introductions to the process.  Ala-Kiyiz and Shyrdak represent a truly folk creative work; therefore, the issue of authorship for the patterns or techniques in their creation does not exist. Indeed, there have never been disputes or any claims among artisans related to copyright or property right. Production techniques, patterns, colours and shapes of felt carpets were transmitted from generation to generation, and the most beautiful models of the products were widely disseminated and copied.   None of the over 80 minority ethnic groups living in our country produce felt carpets. The production of the Ala-Kiyiz and Shyrdaks by Kyrgyz artisans has always been recognized as a part of Kyrgyz traditional culture, and has never been incompatible with the human rights in the multinational society of Kyrgyzstan.  Contemporary society has shown a revived interest in hand-made, ecologically pure, authentic products, providing a new impulse to the development of traditional felt carpets among artisan communities. But, government is not much involved in this process yet. 
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