Traditional skills of crafting and playing Dotār inscribed on UNESCO Intangible Heritage List

Tehran, Dec 12, IRNA - Traditional skills of crafting and playing Iranian musical instrument Dotār have been inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative Intangible Heritage list.

The inscription took place during the annual meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage that is being held in the Colombian capital of Bogota. 

The traditional skills of crafting and playing the Dotār are one of the most prominent social and cultural components of the folkloric music among the ethnic groups and communities of the Dotār regions.

Bearers and practitioners are mostly farmers, including male craftsmen and players and female players. 

The Dotār 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 Dotār on important social and cultural occasions such as weddings, parties, celebrations and ritual ceremonies. 

In recent decades, it has also been played in local, regional, national and international festivals. 

While playing, the players recount epic, historical, lyric and moral narrations that are central to their ethnic history, pride and identity. 

Traditional knowledge relating to crafting and playing the Dotār 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 dotār has a warm, dulcet tone. Typical sizes for the pear-shaped instrument range from one to two meters.

The element fosters peaceful co-existence, mutual respect, and understanding both among different communities and with neighboring countries.

Dotār is played mainly in Iran’s northeastern Khorasan Province in cities of Ghoochan, Bojnourd, Shirvan, Esfarayen, Dargaz, Ashkhane and other cities in the south and east of the province. Then, areas inhabited by Turkmen in northern Golestan Province as well as some parts in Mazandaran Province. 

This regional diversity has made various methods of playing Dotār in these three Iranian provinces. 

Iranian proposals such as Iranian musical notes, Khorasan’s traditional musicians, also known as bakshy, skills of crafting and playing Kamancheh in UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage list.


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