Intangible Cultural Heritage – Culture Quintessence 2017-05-03T07:47:14+00:00

Intangible Cultural Heritage


The concept of Intangible Cultural Heritage was born within UNESCO, and defined by an agreement in 2003.  

Intangible heritage manifests itself primarily in the following: 

– Oral traditions and expressions, including languages

– Performing arts: dance, theater, music, etc.

– Festive rites and events

– Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the world around us

– Savoir-faire involved in traditional crafts 

UNESCO distinguishes cultural and natural heritage (buildings and landscapes) from Intangible Cultural Heritage.


Difference between history

and Intangible Cultural Heritage

The difference between the notion of history and that of Intangible Cultural Heritage lies in time. 

Effectively, history refers to the past while Intangible Cultural Heritage refers to the present. 

In other words, history calls upon historical fact, while Intangible Cultural Heritage is comprised of contemporary ideas and oral memories. 

The work of a historian is thus to analyze writings and historical archives in order to make an inventory of past events and to bring out the most essential and striking elements of history. 

As part of the collection of oral memory, the work of an Intangible Cultural Heritage specialist consists of collecting the ideas, oral memories and anecdotes of living people, through audio and video recordings, in order to provide historical material, but also to restore value to these testimonies in the present.  

It is essential to be aware of the richness of this Intangible Cultural Heritage. 

The completion of a collection of oral memories comes in addition to historical archival studies.