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‘Punto cubano’ declared a UNESCO Intangible World Heritage Asset

UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee in charge of safeguarding the world’s intangible cultural heritage decided Wednesday to include the ‘Punto Cubano’ on the list.

At a meeting on the South Korean island of Jeju, the Cuban ‘Punto’, also known as ‘Punto Guajiro’, was given the green light to be included on the organization’s intangible world heritage list that includes expressive forms that give testimony of the diversity of intangible heritage and contribute to create awareness on its importance.

According to the UNESCO communiqué released in Paris, the Cuban ‘Punto’ is a poetic and musical form of Cuban countrymen and women, consisting of a tune or melody accompanied by the voice of a person who sings improvised or learned poetic compositions in ‘décimas’ (ten syllable verses). 'This musical practice is an essential element of the Cuban intangible cultural heritage, open to all, that encourages dialogue and expresses the feelings, knowledge and values of communities that practice it’, adds the communiqué. Adding to that, the UNESCO announcement says that the ‘Punto Guajiro’ is essentially transmitted by imitation and through a program taught by carriers and practitioners of that musical genre in workshops in all of the country’s Houses of Culture.

The dossier presented by the Cuban nation says that ‘the ‘Punto’ is the poetry and music of the Cuban countrymen’, and though characteristic of the island’s countryside, it has extended to the rest of the population. The text also points out that families who master the genre group together, make their own musical instruments and promote their performances.  ‘Rumba’, another Cuban musical genre, was included on that list last year, recognizing the values of that musical genre and dance form representing the island’s culture and tradition.

Edited by Damian Donestevez
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