Another 55 expressions of tradition and community have been added to the Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Macao, bringing the number of items on the list to 70, the Macao SAR Government Cultural Affairs Bureau has announced.
The additions include music, events, handicrafts, and martial arts.
Each addition to the list is proposed by an individual or local group, while others are the result of years of research by the Cultural Affairs Bureau, a process that includes extensive fieldwork, oral interviews and specialist evaluations. Inclusion on the list affords cultural manifestations protection in order to ensure their preservation and promotion.
Among the latest additions are performing arts, such as Portuguese folk dancing, lion and dragon dances, songs sung by Macao fishermen known as “saltwater songs”, and musical performances by players of the “baatyam”, a percussion instrument traditional in southern China.
Festivals are among some of the other notable inclusions. That includes social or religious practices and rituals observed by the Portuguese and Macanese communities in Macao, such as the Feast of Saint John, several Catholic processions, and the Feast of Saint Martin.
Practices and rituals of Chinese origin, including dragon boat racing, the Opening of Kun Iam Treasury festival, and martial arts such as Tai Chi, also have been added to the list. Other additions include traditional artisanal practices and techniques such as making and painting tiles in the Portuguese style, making incense sticks, and making the “cheongsam”, a dress popular among Chinese women.
Food such as Portuguese-inspired custard pies, Macanese aluá and almond biscuits also made the list and reflect Macao’s status as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.
The updated list is available at http://www.culturalheritage.mo/en/detail/2823/1.