(Persia Digest) – “Polo” and “The art of making and playing the kamancheh” have been evaluated by Unesco and will be registered at its 12th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage taking place in December.
Iran’s Deputy at the Cultural Heritage Organization said: “The Republic of Azerbaijan had previously proposed polo played on Karabakh horses to Unesco. But Iran proposed “Polo and horse riding with narrating stories and playing Persian music” on the sidelines and in the context of the Greater Iran mutual culture.
Mohammad-Hassan Talebian reiterated: “At the December meeting for the Intangible Cultural Heritage, eleven periodic reports will be proposed, including one on Iran’s intangible heritage, and twelve reports will be given on Iran’s endangered intangible heritage, including dhow making in Iran and storytelling.”
The 12th meeting taking place 4-9 December on Jeju Volcanic Island in the most southeastern part of the Korean Republic.
Polo is an ancient Iranian game-sport which is now played worldwide. Its roots go back to 600 BCE in Persia when it flourished under the Achaemenid. It was known as the kings’ game for its popularity among kings and princes and as part of their training. The name “polo” is taken from the stick the game is played with.
Iran’s other registered heritage, the kamancheh, is a string instrument used in Persian music. An extra string has been added to it to bring the number to four, inspired by the violin when this western instrument found its way into Iran, as compared to the three strings it had in the old days. Of the most prominent players of kamancheh one can name Hossein Khan Esmaeilzadeh, Ali-Asghar Bahari, Mojtaba Mirzadeh, Kayhan Kalhor, and Ardeshir Kamkar.