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Ak-kalpak added to List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

Ak-kalpak craftsmanship, traditional knowledge and skills in making and wearing the Kyrgyz male headdress, were added to the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. UNESCO website reports.

The decision was reportedly made at the 14th meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

UNESCO website says that ak-kalpak craftsmanship is a traditional Kyrgyz handicraft. The ak-kalpak is a traditional male hat made of white felt which bears deep sacral meanings. Ak-kalpak craftsmanship encompasses a cumulative body of knowledge and skills pertaining to felting, cutting and sewing, and pattern embroidery.

«The ak-kalpak’s shape resembles a snow peak, with the four sides resembling the four elements, and the edging lines symbolizing life. Ak-kalpak fosters inclusivity and unites different Kyrgyz tribes and communities. Traditionally, related knowledge and skills are transmitted from mother to daughter in craftswomen communities,» UNESCO website says.

Recall, the list traditionally includes local crafts, which the UN considers it necessary to preserve for posterity and which are of particular value to a nation.