UNESCO announces ‘Tais’ Timor-Leste as an intangible cultural heritage

UNESCO announces ‘Tais’ Timor-Leste as an intangible cultural heritage

DILI, 15 december 2021 (TATOLI) – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has announced Timor-Leste’s request for the traditional cloth inscription, Tais, as an intangible cultural heritage that requires urgent protection.

The Executive Secretary of the Timor-Leste National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Timor-Leste, Francisco Barreto, revealed that the official recognition of Timor Tais was carried out in December 14, 2021, at around 13.00 IH.

The appointment was made by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, chaired by the Secretary-General of Sri Lanka’s National Commission for UNESCO, Punchi Nilame Meegaswatte.

Barreto also said that the preparation process for the appointment of Tais was carried out with the support of international partners, such as the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government.

“The Commission assessed Tais through video and photo documentation sent to UNESCO Paris, for the recognition and the Tais was listed on the country’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list, as innovation and modern technology threaten to lose the originality of the product,” he said.

Barreto mentioned that UNESCO and the Government prepared, in 2019, video and photographic documentation about Tais, which they sent, on March 16, 2020, to UNESCO.

“UNESCO Paris will continue to assist to maintain Tais over the next three years, with a value of US$ 265,895, ensuring training on the weaving process for young people and sensitivity of the population to the importance of the product,” he added.

at the same time, he also emphasized that the appointment is an advantage for the country, as it is recognized as a cultural heritage, saying it will have a positive impact on the people’s economy.

“Timor-Leste is proud that UNESCO has recognized Tais as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. We must make every effort to prepare other products to be nominated as cultural heritage,” Barreto concluded.

The Director-General of the State Secretariat for Arts and Culture, Manuel Smith, has previously revealed that Paris-based UNESCO will recognize, on December 16, traditional Timorese textile as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Smith is proud of the world recognition of Timorese Traditional textile as the nation’s identity after 20 years of independence.

“Although other countries have Tais, it is also part of Timor-Leste’s identity. If UNESCO identifies Tais as one of our assets, we are ready to accept critics from neighboring countries, because several countries in Asia also have their own Tais, especially Indonesia,” he said.

Smith also explained that all the criteria related to the 2003 convention were met the registration template at UNESCO.

The Secretary of State for Arts and Culture, Teófilo Caldas, previously said that UNESCO had registered Tais as a heritage of Timor-Leste under number 1688.


Journalist: Camilo de Sousa

Editor: Nelia B


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