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Intangible Cultural Heritage

Albania’s cultural heritage is more than its vast physical heritage of castle, archaeological ruins, museum and remote monuments. It is about people and their practices, representations, expressions, as well as the knowledge and skills (including instruments, objects, artifacts, cultural spaces).

Spread through generations and constantly recreated, Albanian Intangible Cultural Heritage not only ensures Albanians with a sense of identity, but it has the potential to become one of the main motivations for travel and tourism in the country.

The project aims to take a new step into the second pillar of cultural heritage, aiming to support the country’s application to UNESCO of four national ICH elements:

  1. Transhumance (Verimi), the seasonal movement of livestock and shepherds from one grazing ground to another in a seasonal cycle.
  2. Jublet (Xhubleta) a unique bell-shaped folk skirt, worn by Albanian women in the north and known for its unique way of making, structure and traditional decorating style.
  3. Songs of Frontier Warriors (Eposi i Kreshnikëve), the north Albanian epos sung to this day by elderly Albanian men playing lahuta, a one-stringed instrument.
  4. Tropoja’s folk dance – (Kcimi i Tropojës), an ancient folk dance, characteristic of Tropoja, an area in the north of Albania. It is known for its expressive moves, and unique choreography.

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  • 03.30.2021

    Nomination of “Xhubleta” and “K’cimi i Tropojës” at UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List

    Nomination of “Xhubleta” and “K’cimi i Tropojës” at UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List

    AADF in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture has successfully completed the preparation of the nomination files of two Intangible Culture Heritage elements “Xhubleta” skills, craftsmanship and forms of usage, and “K’cimi i Tropojës”. The files were submitted to UNESCO by the Ministry of Culture on March 30th 2021, respectively Xhubleta to be inscribed in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding and K’cimi i Tropojës to be inscribed in the Representative List of Cultural Heritage.

    Based on the Memorandum of Understanding between AADF and the Ministry of Culture, the drafting process of the nomination files was managed by the AADF through the engagement of Intangible Culture Heritage international experts, Albanian consultants and local communities.

    The preparation of nomination files was funded by AADF aiming to promote cultural values through preservation of intangible heritage elements and provide local community with a sense of identity on an international scale.

    The collaboration between the AADF and the Ministry of Culture will continue on compiling two other ICH nomination files for UNESCO evaluation in 2022, that of ‘Transhumance’ and ‘Eposi i Kreshnikëve i kënduar me Lahutë’.

    Detailed description

  • 02.26.2021

    Preparation of application files to UNESCO of Xhubleta and Kcimi i Tropojës

    Preparation of application files to UNESCO of Xhubleta and Kcimi i Tropojës

    Within the framework of the collaboration between the AADF and the Ministry of Culture to prepare the applications files to inscribe four elements of Albanian intangible heritage in the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” of UNESCO, two working groups for Xhubleta and Kcimi i Tropojës were established in January and February. The groups are composed of local communities and national experts assisted by UNESCO certified consultants to help the preparation of the files. During this period, the two working groups have undertaken a number of field expeditions to identify and document local bearers and areas where these elements are still practiced. In parallel, the documentation phase has been associated with archive research to gather all information to be included in the applications files. A filming company has been attached to both groups for the preparation of two documentaries as part of the UNESCO procedure of applications.

    The applications files of Xhubleta and Kcimi i Tropojës are scheduled to be sent for evaluation to the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (UNESCO) in March 2021.

    All project activities, national and international experts and the filming of the documentaries are fully funded by the AADF.

    Detailed description

  • 11.23.2020

    The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding to support the Albanian application to UNESCO of the four elements of intangible cultural heritage

    The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding to support the Albanian application to UNESCO of the four elements of intangible cultural heritage

    On November 23, 2020, in Razëm, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between AADF and the Ministry of Culture to support the Albania’s application of four intangible cultural heritage elements to be included into the UNESCO’s “Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanities”.

    Through this Memorandum of Understanding, AADF will financially support national and international groups of experts who will conduct research and prepare the application of the four Albanian intangible cultural heritage elements listed as the following:

    1 Xhubleta, (Djubleta) – as a unique technology and remaking of handicrafts and the forms of its use, located in northern Albania.

    2 K’cimi i bjeshkës me tupan i Tropojës, (Tropoja’s folk dance choreographic folklore) – as a typology of the Albanian national spiritual heritage;

    3 Eposi i Kreshnikëve, (Songs of Frontier Warriors) – the north Albanian epos sung to this day by elderly Albanian men playing lahuta, a one-stringed instrument. The epic songs in this epos are literary reflections on the struggles of historical or legendary heroes of the past.

    4 Verimi (Transhumance) – the seasonal movement of livestock and shepherds from one grazing ground to another in a seasonal cycle. It’s an economic activity and it involves shared rituals and social practices, shaping relations among people, animals and ecosystems.

    Detailed description