0435 GMT January 27, 2020
The instrument’s inscription on the world body’s list was discussed at the 14th annual meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The meeting opened on December 9 and will run through December 14 in the Colombian capital Bogota, IRNA wrote.
The dossier was submitted for inclusion in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in April 2018, ISNA wrote.
“Local to a number of Iranian provinces, such as Mazandaran, Golestan, North Khorasan, South Khorasan and Khorasan Razavi provinces, dotar – meaning two strings in Persian – will be the first folk musical instrument with such a wide popularity to get international status,” said Farhad Nazari, in charge of inscription of historical sites at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Ministry.
The dotar is a folkloric plucked musical instrument with a pear-shaped bow crafted with dried wood or mulberry tree, a neck made of apricot or walnut wood, and two strings. Some believe one string is male and functions as the accord, while the other is female, playing the main melody. Performers play the dotar on important social and cultural occasions such as weddings, parties, celebrations and ritual ceremonies. Bearers and practitioners are mostly farmers, including male crafters and players and female players.
In recent decades, it has also been played in local, regional, national and international festivals. While playing, the players recount epic, historical, lyric, moral and gnostic narrations that are central to their ethnic history, pride and identity.
According to the UN cultural body, traditional knowledge relating to crafting and playing the dotar is passed on informally through the master-student method, and the element is also present in local oral and written literature, which reflects the history and background of the bearers. The element fosters peaceful co-existence, mutual respect and understanding both among different communities and with neighboring countries.