Mongolian Limbe is registered as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding
The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage hosted by the Government of Indonesia held its sixth session in Bali, Indonesia on November 22-29, 2011. Previously, Mongolia has nominated Folk long song performance technique of Limbe performances - circular breathing for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.
According to the *DECISION 6.COM 8.15
, Mongolia received the Certificate of validation on the registration of “The traditional technique of playing long songs with Mongolian Limbe” in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding on June 11, 2012. This validation, which states the registry of the circular breathing technique of the Limbe in the UNESCO list
, was officially handed to the Secretary-General of Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO G.Jargalsaikhan, who participated in the Fourth Session of the General Assembly of the States Parties to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, held in Paris, France, on June 04-08, 2012.
The original copy of the Certificate of validation is to be preserved at the State History Museum, the affiliate of the Mongolian National History Museum. The ceremony for handing the Certificate of validation was held at the concert hall of the National Song and Dance Academic Ensemble on June 11, 2012. During this, Limbe players, who have inherited the technique of the circular breath made a performance, and the senior Limbe players of N.Jambaljamts, teacher at the Mongolian State University of Culture and Arts, N.Nyamjamtsan, teacher at the Music and Dance College of Mongolia, and S.Altansukh, teacher at the Music and Dance College of Zavkhan aimag, were awarded with the “Frontier Cultural Servant” medal.
The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage that now includes 133 countries of the world was established in 2003, where Mongolia enrolled as a member in 2005
. The Mongolian National Commission for UNSECO reports, that currently 27 heritages from 10 countries are listed in the “Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding”, and 232 heritages from 70 countries are listed in the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.
Since 2008, Mongolia has registered 9 intangible cultural heritages in the list of UNESCO.
Mongolian heritages listed in the “Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding”:
- The traditional technique of playing long songs with Mongolian Limbe - circular breathing (Limbe - a side-blown flute of hardwood or bamboo, traditionally used to perform Mongolian folk long songs)
- Mongolian Tuuli (Tuuli - oral tradition comprising heroic epic, ballad)
- The traditional technique of the Mongolian Biyelgee (Biyelgee - traditional folk dance)
- The traditional technique of the Mongolian Tsuur (Tsuur - traditional instrument)
Mongolian heritages listed in the “Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”:
- Mongolian Urtyn Duu (Urtyn Duu - “long song” is one major form of Mongolian folk songs)
- Traditional technique Mongolian Morin Khuur
(Morin Khuur - a two stringed horse head fiddle)
- Mongol Naadam Festival
- The traditional technique of Mongolian Khuumii (Khuumii - throat singing)
- Eagle hunting
Our senior Limbe players have noted that the traditional technique of playing long songs with Mongolian Limbe is a rare technique that only exists in the musical heritage of eastern nomads. Professional Limbe players have formulated, “The distinct feature of the circular breathing technique lies in deliberately changing the order of the lung, which is inhaling and exhaling, and to make up a continuous circular breathing flow by inhaling and exhaling at the same time.”
*DECISION 6.COM 8.15
1. Takes note that Mongolia has nominated Folk long song performance technique of Limbe performances - circular breathing for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, described as follows:
The Limbe is a side-blown flute of hardwood or bamboo, traditionally used to perform Mongolian folk long songs. Through the use of circular breathing, Limbe performers are able to produce the continuous, wide-ranging melodies characteristic of the long song. Players breathe in through the nose while simultaneously blowing out through the mouth, using air stored in their cheeks to play the flute without interruption. Single stanzas of folk long song last approximately four to five minutes. A single song consists of three to five or more stanzas, which requires performance of the flute to continue uninterrupted for twelve to twenty-five minutes. Traditional training methods used to acquire this technique include continuously blowing at a candle flame without extinguishing it and blowing through a straw into a glass of water. Limbe playing is characterized by euphonious melodies, melisma, hidden tunes and skilful and delicate movements of the fingers and tongue. The small number of bearers of the element has become cause for concern with a considerable decrease in groups and individual practitioners. This has been caused in part by the predominance of international musical forms and training systems. At present, the frequency and extent of this traditional element’s practice are unstable with only fourteen Limbe practitioners remaining.
2. Decides that, from the information provided in nomination file 00543, Folk long song performance technique of Limbe performances - circular breathing satisfies the criteria for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, as follows:
U.1: The technique of performing the Limbe during the folk long song provides a sense of identity to the community of Limbe players;
U.2: Although tenacious elders continue to convey their expertise and a large number of skilled flute players exists among whom the circular-breathing technique can potentially be spread, the technique of Limbe performance to accompany the folk long song is not widely encountered;
U.3: The safeguarding measures proposed, including transmission and teaching, are well formulated and benefit from solid institutional support;
U.4: All the interested parties have participated in the nomination process and have accordingly provided their free, prior and informed consent;
U.5: The element has been included in the Urgent Safeguarding List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mongolia, maintained by the Cultural Heritage Centre in the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
3. Inscribes Folk long song performance technique of Limbe performances - circular breathing on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding;
4. Invites the State Party to further elaborate a feasible safeguarding plan that aims to enable a favourable environment for the practice not only of the circular breathing technique but also of the folk long song;
5. Recommends the State Party to refine the safeguarding methodology to include the folk long song and to identify funding resources that correspond to the activities proposed in the safeguarding plan.