Silent Wheel Dance and ‘Bećarac’ on the World Heritage List


Silent Wheel Dance and ‘Bećarac’ on the World Heritage ListSilent wheel dance from Dalmatinska Zagora (Dalmatian hinterland) and Bećarac (a traditional folk song) from the Croatian region of Slavonia have recently been included on a "representative list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity" by UNESCO Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, at a meeting held on the Indonesian island of Bali.


Silent wheel dance is a traditional, Dalmatian folk dance performed without instrumental or vocal musical accompaniment although it can be preceded or followed by a vocal or instrumental performance. Today, it is most commonly performed at local events, before church festivities or festivals. The dance is carried over from generation to generation.

Bećarac is a traditional folk song popular throughout Eastern Croatia and deeply rooted in the culture of Slavonia, Baranja and Srijem.

Croatia already has ten cultural goods on UNESCO's list. These are the Kastav bell ringers, the Festivity of St Blaise the patron saint of Dubrovnik, ‘Sinjska Alka’ (knight tournament performed on horses), musical expression ‘ojkanje’, lacework in Croatia (Hvar, Lepoglava), a craft of producing gingerbread souvenirs from the area of north Croatia, two-part narrow intervals of Istria and the Croatian coast, the annual spring procession of the Queen or ‘Ljelje’ from Gorjani, procession "Za Križen" (following the cross) on the island of Hvar and the art of making wooden toys in the area of Hrvatsko Zagorje.

With silent wheel dance and Bećarac, Croatia is among the leaders in Europe and the world by number of phenomena of intangible cultural heritage on UNESCO's world list.
More than 80 nominations were considered at the meeting in Bali but only 19 intangible phenomena were recommended for inclusion on the Representative List.

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