Chovgan or Chovken (Middle Persian: čaukān or čōkān, New Persian: čōgan or čōvgan), is a sporting team game with horses . It was considered an aristocratic game and held in a separate field, on specially trained horses. Nowadays, chovgan is played in Azerbaijan, Iran, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
In 2013 UNESCO included Azerbaijani Chovken in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of urgent safeguarding. In 2017, UNESCO inscribed chovgan as an Iranian sport in the Cultural Heritage List.
|Playing time||30 minutes|
|Chovqan, a traditional Karabakh horse-riding game in the Republic of Azerbaijan|
|Region||Europe and North America|
|Inscription||2013 (8th session)|
Chovgan was originated in the middle of the first millennium A.D., as a team game. It was very popular during the centuries in the Middle East. Fragments of the game were periodically portrayed in ancient miniatures, and also detailed descriptions and rules of the game were also given in the ancient manuscripts.
Englishmen had a great role in distribution and development of the game in Europe and the whole world. So chovgan – brought from India to England in the 19th century became more popular and addition of new rules into it favored quick spreading of this game in Europe and the USA. Namely on the initiative of Englishmen this game acquired its present name – polo and was included into program of the Olympic Games held in 1900, in Paris. 5 teams from three countries took part in the contests.
The origins of the game of polo are obscure, being claimed by Iran, China, India and others. Some authors give dates as early as the 5th century BC (or earlier) to the 1st century AD for its origin by the Medes. Certainly, the earliest records of polo are Median (an ancient Iranian people). According to the Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity, polo i.e. chovgan was a Persian ball game (polo = chovgan in Middle Persian) and an important pastime in the court of the Sasanian Empire (224-651). Chovgan / polo was also part of royal education for the Sasanian ruling class. The neighboring Romans adopted chovgan from the Sasanians and called it tzykanion, which derives from the Middle Persian word. During the reign of Theodosius II, the Roman imperial court started playing tzykanion in the tzykanisterion (polo stadium). By the time of the Tang dynasty (618–907), records of polo were well-established in China. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity, the popularity of polo in Tang China was "bolstered, no doubt, by the presence of the Sasanian court in exile".
Polo was at first a training game for cavalry units, usually the king's guard or other elite troops. In time polo became an Iranian national sport played normally by the nobility. Women as well as men played the game, as indicated by references to the queen and her ladies engaging King Khosrow II Parviz and his courtiers in the 6th century AD. Certainly Persian literature and art give us the richest accounts of polo in antiquity. Ferdowsi, the famed Iranian poet-historian, gives a number of accounts of royal chogan tournaments in his 9th century epic, Shahnameh (the Book of Kings). In the earliest account, Ferdowsi romanticizes an international match between Turanian force and the followers of Siyâvash, a legendary Iranian prince from the earliest centuries of the Empire; the poet is eloquent in his praise of Siyâvash's skills on the polo field. Ferdowsi also tells of Emperor Shapur II of the Sasanian dynasty of the 4th century who learned to play polo when he was only seven years old. Naqsh-i Jahan Square in Isfahan is in fact a polo field which was built by king Abbas I in the 17th century.
Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aybak, the Turkic military slave from present-day Northern Afghanistan who then became Emperor of North India, ruled as an emperor for only four years, from 1206 to 1210 but died accidentally in 1210 playing polo. While he was playing a game of polo on horseback, his horse fell and Aibak was impaled on the pommel of his saddle. He was buried near the Anarkali bazaar in Lahore (which is now in Pakistan). Aibak's son Aram, died in 1211 CE , so Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, another military slave of Turkic ancestry who was married to Aibak's daughter, succeeded him as Sultan of Delhi.
From Persia, polo spread to the Byzantines (who called it tzykanion), and after the Muslim conquests to the Ayyubid and Mameluke dynasties of Egypt and the Levant, whose elites favoured it above all other sports. Notable sultans such as Saladin and Baybars were known to play it and encourage it in their court. Polo sticks were features on the Mameluke precursor to modern day playing cards.
Later on Polo was passed from Persia to other parts of Asia including the Indian subcontinent and China, where it was very popular during the Tang Dynasty and frequently depicted in paintings and statues. Valuable for training cavalry, the game was played from Constantinople to Japan by the Middle Ages. It is known in the East as the Game of Kings. The name polo is said to have been derived from the Tibetan word "pulu", meaning ball.
In Azerbaijan, chovqan (Azerbaijani: Çövkən) is considered a national sport. Various antique prints and ceramics suggest that the sport has a long history there. For example, a vessel with fragment pictures of a chovgan game was found during archaeological excavations in the Oran-Gala area, suggesting indirectly that the game existed during the 11th century around Beylagan city. Mentions of the chovgan game also appear in “Khosrow and Shirin”, a poem by the Persian poet and thinker Nizami Ganjavi, and in pages of the Turkic classic epic “Kitabi Dede Korkut”.
One of varieties of this game was broadly cultivated in Azerbaijan. Here two teams strive for scoring a goal with special clubs. Rules in the modern edition of the game are the following: two goals with a width of 3 meters with semi-circled areas with a radius of 6 meters are fixed in an enough big area. The game was held with a rubber or woven from leather belts ball. Clubs can be different in forms. In Azerbaijani horsemen they remind of shepherd’s yarlyg. There are 6 riders in each team, 4 of whom act as attackers and two as fullbacks. The latter can play only on their half of the area. Goals can be scored behind the borders of penalty area. Duration of the game is 30 minutes in two periods. Traditionally Karabakh horses are the mount of choice thanks to their combination of agility and relatively calm temperament.
In 1979, a documentary called “Chovgan game”, shot by Azerbaijan's Jafar Jabbarly film studio, recorded the sport's rules and historical development. However, overall the Soviet era saw a decline of the sport to near 'oblivion' and the dislocations of the immediate post-Soviet period proved difficult for the breeding of horses. In recent years, however, the sport has rebounded somewhat. Since 2006, Azerbaijan holds a national tournament in December known as the President's Cup at the Republican Equestrian Tourism Center, at Dashyuz near Shaki. The first of these, held from December 22 to 25 2006, pitted teams from eight cities of Azerbaijan – Shaki, Agdam, Ağstafa, Balakən, Qakh, Gazakh, Oğuz and Zagatala with those from Aghstafa taking overall victory.
Al Sadu, or simply Sadu, describes an embroidery form in geometrical shapes hand-woven by Bedouin people. Sadu House in Kuwait was established by the Al Sadu Society in 1980 to protect the interests of the Bedouins and Sadu weaving. Al Sadu traditional weaving skills in the United Arab Emirates is contained in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.Aqyn
Akyns or aqyns (Kazakh: ақын, pronounced [ɑˈqən]; Kyrgyz: акын, pronounced [ɑˈqɯn]; both transcribed as aqın or اقىن) are improvising poets and singers in the Kazakh and Kyrgyz cultures. Akyns are different from the zhiraus or manaschys, who are song performers or epic storytellers.
In aytys, akyns improvise in the form of a song-like recitative, usually to the accompaniment of a dombra (among Kazakhs) or a qomuz (among Kyrgyz). Considering the nomadic lifestyle and illiteracy of most of the rural population in Central Asia in pre-Soviet times, akyns played an important role in terms of expressing people's thoughts and feelings, exposing social vices, and glorifying heroes.
Modern akyns may also publish their original lyrics and poetry.Bigwala
Bigwala is a genre of ceremonial music and dance of the Busoga Kingdom in Uganda centered around gourd trumpets.Typically a solo trumpet is joined by four or more other trumpets, which produce a melody through playing in hocket, these are then joined by singers and then by dancers, both of which circle the instrumentalists while swaying.Originally performed during royal celebrations such as coronations and funerals, and more recently during social occasions, but less frequently: "At present...there are only four remaining older master bearers with skills in Bigwala making, playing and dancing, and their recent transmission attempts have been frustrated by financial obstacles."The genre contributes to Busoga unity and identity, with lyrics primarily narrating the history of the Kingdom, focusing on the King himself (a symbol of Busoga identity), as well as addressing other social issues. Godfrey Alibatya, who helped promote Bigwala to the UNESCO list, argues that, "the apparent extinction of Bigwala might contribute to the weakening of the kingship," and kingdom. David Pier argues that Alibatya is helping preserve the genre despite its obscurity, unlike most items on the list, which are cherished by the local community.Chakkirako
Chakkirako (Japanese: チャッキラコ) is a dance performed at a festival in Miura, Japan to celebrate the New Year and bring good fortune, especially in fishing. In 2009, it has been inscribed in UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In 1976, Japan's government recognized this dance as an intangible cultural heritage to be protected.The dance originated in the Edo period with influences by the dances of visiting sailors. By the mid-eighteenth century, it had become a showcase for local girls. Every year in the middle of January, ten to twenty girls in colorful kimonos between the ages of 5 and 12 perform the dance at a shrine or in front of houses. They're accompanied by five to ten older women singing a capella.Cocolo (dance)
Cocolo is a dance drama tradition practiced in the Dominican Republic. It has been inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2008, though the original proclamation came in 2005.The tradition developed among the descendants of British Caribbean sugar-plantation slaves, also called Cocolo. The performances unite "music and dance genres of African origin" with "plots, legends, and figures derived from biblical and medieval European literature." In the past, Cocolo troupes used to perform at "Christmas, on St Peter's day, and at carnival activities." Now, only one aging troupe remains.History of the guqin
The history of the Guqin, an ancient Chinese musical instrument, is a long one that spans 3,000 years. Although similar, it should not be confused with another Chinese zither instrument, the guzheng, which has bridges.Huaconada
Huaconada (Spanish pronunciation: [wakoˈnaða]) is a ritual dance performed in the village of Mito in the province of Concepción in the central Peruvian Andes. It has been inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010.On the first three days of every January, masked men known as "huacones" perform a choreographed series of dances in the center of the village. There are two types of "huacones": those that wear traditional costumes and finely-carved masks "inspiring respect and fear," and those that wear modern costumes, "embodying terror, sadness, or mockery." A small indigenous drum called the "tinya" beats out time to which the dance is performed. The dance is passed from father to son with the accompanying clothing and masks, but only those of good conduct and moral integrity are allowed to perform the dance ritual as "huacones".Jidir Plain
The Jidir Plain (Azerbaijani: Cıdır düzü) also spelled as Jydyr Plain, is a plain in the southern part of Shusha town in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. The name literally translates as horse racing field from Azerbaijani referring to the tradition of holding horse racing games in the times of the Karabakh Khanate.Kallawaya
The Kallawaya are an itinerant group of traditional healers living in the Andes of Bolivia. They live in the Bautista Saavedra region, a mountainous area north of La Paz. They are members of the Mollo culture and are direct descendants of Tiwanaku culture. According to the UNESCO Safeguarding Project, the Kallawaya can be traced to the pre-Inca period. The Kallawaya performed brain surgery as early as 700 CE and knew how to effectively prevent and treat malaria with quinine before the Europeans. They also helped to save thousands of lives during the construction of the Panama Canal.Kihnu
Kihnu (Swedish: Kynö) is an island in the Baltic Sea. With an area of 16.4 km2 (6.3 sq mi) it is the largest island in the Gulf of Riga and the seventh largest island of Estonia. The length of the island is 7 km (4.3 mi) and width 3.3 km (2.1 mi), the highest point is at 8.9 metres (29.2 ft) above sea level.
The island belongs to the Pärnu County of Estonia. Together with neighbouring islands it forms Kihnu Parish, one of the smallest municipalities of the country with an area of 16.8 km2 (6.5 sq mi).
604 people live on Kihnu as of 2007 of whom 69 are primary school pupils. There are four villages: Lemsi, Linaküla, Rootsiküla and Sääre. One can reach Kihnu by plane from Pärnu (15 minutes) or ferry from either Pärnu (3 hours) or Manilaid (1 hour), and when the sea is frozen in winter it is possible to drive to the island over the ice.Kī-o-rahi
Kī-o-rahi is a ball sport played in New Zealand with a small round ball called a 'kī'. It is a fast-paced game incorporating skills similar to rugby union, netball and touch. Two teams of seven players play on a circular field divided into zones, and score points by touching the 'pou' (boundary markers) and hitting a central 'tupu' or target. The game is played with varying rules (e.g. number of people, size of field, tag ripping rules etc.) depending on the geographic area it is played in. A process called Tatu, before the game, determines which rules the two teams will use.
In 2005 kī-o-rahi was chosen to represent New Zealand by global fast-food chain McDonald's as part of its 'Passport to Play' programme to teach physical play activities in 31,000 American schools.
The programme will give instruction in 15 ethnic games to seven million primary school children.The New Zealand kī-o-rahi representative organisation, Kī-o-Rahi Akotanga Iho, formed with men's and women's national teams, completed a 14 match tour of Europe in September and October 2010. The men's team included 22-test All Black veteran Wayne Shelford who led the team to a 57–10 test win against Kī-o-Rahi Dieppe Organisation, the French Kī-o-Rahi federation.
Shelford's kī-o-rahi test jersey made him the first kī-o-rahi/rugby double international for NZ. The women's team coached by Andrea Cameron (Head of PE at Tikipunga High School) also won by 33–0. These were the first historic test matches between NZ and France.Maqam al-iraqi
Iraqi Maqam (Arabic: المقام العراقي) is a genre of Arabic maqam music found in Iraq that is at least four-hundred years old. The ensemble of instruments used in this genre, called Al-Chalghi al-Baghdadi, includes a qari' (singer), santur, jawza, tabla or dunbug/dumbeg, and sometimes riqq and naqqarat. The focus is on the poem sung in classical Arabic or an Iraqi dialect (then called zuhayri). A complete maqam concert is known as fasl (plural fusul) and is named after the first maqam: Bayat, Hijaz, Rast, Nawa, or Husayni.A typical performance includes the following sections:
tahrir, sometimes badwah
Nhã nhạc (Vietnamese: [ɲǎːˀ ɲàːk], 雅樂, "elegant music") is a form of Vietnamese court music. Vietnamese court music is very diverse, but the term nhã nhạc refers specifically to the Vietnamese court music performed from the Trần dynasty of the 13th century to the Nguyễn dynasty at the end of the 20th century.Polo
Polo is a horseback mounted team sport. It is one of the world's oldest known team sports.Polo was first played in Persia (Iran) at dates given from the 6th century BC to the 1st century AD. Polo was at first a training game for cavalry units, usually the king’s guard or other elite troops. From there it spread to the entirety of Persia and beyond. It is now popular around the world, with well over 100 member countries in the Federation of International Polo. It is played professionally in 16 countries. It was an Olympic sport from 1900 to 1936.
It is known as the sport of kings. It has become a spectator sport for equestrians and society, often supported by sponsorship.
The game is played by two opposing teams with the objective of scoring goals by using a long-handled wooden mallet to hit a small hard ball through the opposing team's goal. Each team has four mounted riders, and the game usually lasts one to two hours, divided into periods called chukkas (or "chukkers").
Arena polo has similar rules, and is played with three players per team. The playing area is smaller, enclosed, and usually of compacted sand or fine aggregate, often indoors. Arena polo has more maneuvering due to space limitations, and uses an air inflated ball, slightly larger than the hard field polo ball. Standard mallets are used, though slightly larger head arena mallets are an option.Pütchipü'ü
A pütchipü'ü or pütche'ejachi (Wayuu: messenger of the word; Spanish: palabrero) is the central element in the traditional administration justice system of the wayuu people. The role of a pütchipü'ü is to solve conflicts through mediation and negotiation. This can include conflicts between different members or clans of the wayuu community or with people or organizations outside the Wayuu people. This negotiation includes material compensation to be paid by the aggravating family to the aggrieved family group.
In 2010, this mediation system was recognized by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This indigenous law system has been recognized by governments of Venezuela and Colombia. The pütchipü'ui are organized by the Major Autonomous Board of Palabreros.Shashmaqam
Shashmaqam is a Central Asian musical genre (typical of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) which may have developed in the city of Bukhara. Shashmaqam means the six Maqams (modes) in the Persian language, dastgah being the name for Persian modes, and maqams being the name for modes more generally.
It is a refined sort of music, with lyrics derived from Sufi poems about divine love. The instruments of shashmaqam provide an austere accompaniment to the voices. They consist, at most concerts, of a pair of long-necked lutes, the dayra, or frame drum, which, with its jingles, is very much like a tambourine, and the sato, or bowed tanbour, which vaguely resembles a bass fiddle.T'heydinn
T'heydinn or T'heydinne, variously also called Al Batt Likbir and Al Rasm is a Moorish epic ensemble of Mauritania. It is an important literary and artistic manifestation of the Hassaniya language and was, in 2011, added to the UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage List.Tumba francesa
Tumba francesa is a secular Afro-Cuban genre of dance, song, and drumming that emerged in Oriente, Cuba. It was introduced by slaves from Haiti—then a French colony known as Saint-Domingue—whose owners resettled in Cuba's eastern regions following the slave rebellion during the 1790s. The genre flourished in the late 19th century with the establishment of sociedades de tumba francesa (tumba francesa societies), of which only three survive.UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in Azerbaijan
The first object, Azerbaijani mugham, was included into the list in 2008.
|Inscribed in 2008|
|Inscribed in 2009|
|Inscribed in 2010|
|Inscribed in 2012|
|Inscribed in 2013|
|Inscribed in 2014|
|Inscribed in 2015|
|Inscribed in 2016|
|Inscribed in 2017|
1These are traditional areas of settlement; the Turkic group has been living in the listed country/region for centuries and should not be confused with modern diasporas.
2State with limited international recognition.
UNESCO Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity: Urgent Safeguarding List
|Asia and Pacific|