The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has included Saudi Arabia and Kuwait’s traditional weaving of Al Sadu, a non-material cultural legacy, on its Intangible Heritage list.
The decision to include Al Sadu weaving was taken during the committee’s annual meeting, which is taking place remotely in the wake of the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Elated over the development, Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr Bin Abdullah Bin Farhan thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman for playing an important role to get the Saudi traditional weaving of Al Sadu registered at the UNESCO list in collaboration with Kuwait.
Prince Badr also lauded the efforts being exerted by the other relevant cultural entities to authenticate the Saudi cultural heritage and register it internationally.
He described the art of Al Sadu weaving as a genuine cultural element, citing its selection as the logo of the recently-concluded G20 summit hosted by Saudi Arabia.
"Inclusion of the Al Sadu weaving in the UNESCO list of international non-material cultural heritage is an important step, turning a spotlight on such a deep-rooted art of our people, Prince Badr added.
He also said that the coming years would witness the addition of more and more Saudi non-material cultural items.
Meanwhile, making the announcement on Wednesday, UNSECO explained that traditional weaving of Al Sadu refers to the conventional woven textile made by Bedouin women. In Arabic, “Al Sadu” means weaving done in a horizontal style. The weaving is a form of warp-faced plain weave made on a ground loom. The cloth forms a tightly woven, durable textile and the weavers use natural fibers found in their natural environment.
“The patterns found in Bedouin weaving reflect the desert environment in its simple, pure form, featuring geometric designs combined to flow in rhythmic repetition and symmetry. Weavers also use bright colors such as reds and oranges to liven up the surroundings. The beauty of each woven item depends on the quality of the spinning and weaving and the expertise of the weaver – the finer the yarn, the more pronounced and delicate the structure and design pattern,” UNESCO added.
The committee had received 40 requests for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Committee members had to decide on four nominations for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. In addition, four projects were proposed for inclusion in the Register of Good Practices for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, of which there are 22 to date.
The List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding identifies elements of living heritage whose survival is under threat. Consisting to date of 64 inscribed elements, it enables States Parties to the Convention to mobilize international cooperation and assistance to support the transmission of these cultural practices in agreement with the communities concerned.
The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity has 463 inscribed elements. It aims to give greater visibility to cultural practices and skills carried by communities.