ICHCAP and Timor-Leste National Commission for UNESCO Cooperate to Safeguard ICH in Timor-Leste

Tais is used to make traditional clothes for decorations, ceremonies, and festivals. Tais also expresses different cultural identities and social classes using different colors and motifs depending on the ethnic group. Tais are made from natural dyed cotton, and its technique is transmitted by women. © Timor-Leste National Commission for UNESCO, ICHCAP

ICHCAP, in cooperation with the Timor-Leste National Commission for UNESCO, has produced booklets and audiovisual materials containing information on various ICH elements in Timor-Leste, including the representative ICH element “Tais (traditional textile).”

This project was carried out over 2021~22 with the aim of illuminating the role of women in Timor-Leste in ICH safeguarding; raising awareness of ICH in Timor-Leste through producing education and promotional materials; enhancing the international visibility of ICH in Timor-Leste. Various ICH communities, including ICHCAP and the national commission, participated.

The Timor-Leste government has established the Strategic Development Plan 2030, which aims to achieve national prosperity and development by including the arts in economic development and has carried out various activities to safeguard ICH. Since 2019, the Timor-Leste government has established the Tais National Committee in cooperation with ministries, NGOs and UN agencies to develop a comprehensive action plan to safeguard Tais.

As a result of these efforts, Tais was inscribed on the ‘List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding’ by the 16th Intergovernmental Committee. Alongside the inscription, Timor-Leste also obtained financial support under the International Assistance to implement a safeguarding plan.

The booklet contains descriptions of 14 ICH elements in Timor-Leste, and related videos and photographs can be found on the ichLinks, the ICH information sharing platform.

List of ICH elements of Timor-Leste

Materials of ICH elements of Timor-Leste