Inner Mongolia races to preserve threatened cultural heritage

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2015-11-25 13:44:50

Inner Mongolia races to preserve threatened cultural heritage

Performers from Inner Mongalian Military Area Command's art troupe perform a Mongolian dance on Sept 15, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region is racing to interview and record performances by aging craftsmen and artists responsible for art forms that may otherwise die with them.

As recognized by UNESCO, such "intangible cultural heritage" (ICH) like songs, music, dance, drama or craft skills can be recorded but not touched or stored in physical form. With some forms of ICH losing popularity among younger generations, seniors are the last people able to preserve them.

More than a third of the 42 people regarded as "ICH inheritors" in Inner Mongolia are older than 60, said the regional ICH protection center.

The center has been interviewing and recording performances by the inheritors since September, prioritizing those above 70 and the sick.

So far, it has compiled five-hour interviews on eight of the inheritors. The videos feature ethnic Mongolian folk songs, musical instruments and traditional local costumes.

Their oldest subject is an 85-year-old male folk singer.

The videos and transcripts will be digitalized and stored in a database, according to the center.


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