Opra i pupi siciliana: Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity

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In the first decades of the nineteenth century a form of puppet theater was established in Sicily, specialized in the staging of epic-chivalrous events: the opra î pupi (work of the puppets), which has since enjoyed enormous success among the working classes Sicilians. The work of the pupi has the merit of imploding an articulated complex of traditionally formalized competences (from the material to the expressive level) and at the same time reflecting the socio-symbolic values on which until recently the Sicilian popular culture was founded. For this reason, in 2001, the title of "Masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity" was recognized by UNESCO. The central role attributed to individuals, communities and groups holding a "tradition" is a new approach to safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. In fact, the UNESCO Program does not limit itself to recognizing the importance of the Intangible Cultural Heritage for the sense of identity and the well-being of a community, but establishes that only the dossiers for candidacy presented in agreement with the communities of depositaries of a interested tradition can be accepted by UNESCO.
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationTeatri di figura. La poesia di burattini e marionette fra tradizione e sperimentazione. Atti del convegno internazionale di studi (Verona, 22-24 novembre 2012)
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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