Recommendation on the Safeguarding of Traditional Culture and Folklore (1989)


The Recommendation approved by the General Assembly concerns the preservation of the intangible aspects of heritage: traditional culture and folklore. The fragility of the intangible heritage, particularly with regard to oral traditions, is noted. The document defines the nature of folklore and its forms-language, literature, music, dance, games, mythology, rituals, customs, handicrafts, architecture and other arts-and recommends conservation strategies. These include:

  • documentation of traditions,
  • establishment of archives, and
  • creation of museums for folklore;
  • support for transmitters of traditions.

The document recommends development of educational programs to encourage the study of folklore and calls for scientific research regarding the preservation of folklore. Finally, the Recommendation notes the negative impact of industrial culture and mass media on traditional culture and calls for support for folk traditions to counter these effects.