Joint Press Release - SRE-CULTURA-INAH.

The Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SRE), the Mexican Ministry of Culture, the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and the bearing community  composed of Charro Associations, has the pleasure to jointly inform about the achievement of the inscription of the nomination “The Charrería, equestrian tradition of Mexico”, in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Humanity of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The Ministry of Culture, through the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and the partners of the National Charro Association started engagements on March 2011.

The appointment consolidates a bread and inclusive Safeguarding Plan, preservation, dissemination and development of the cultural heritage of the Charrería.

After a 5-year long preparation and elaboration process and owing to the efforts made by the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs and the Mexican Ministry of Culture through the INAH, as well as the bearing community, “The Charrería, equestrian tradition of Mexico” was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity that converts it to the eighth living cultural manifestation of Mexico, which receives this distinction.

The inscription was approved during the 11th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage taking place currently in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia about the basis of a solid report prepared jointly by the INAH and the Mexican National Charro Association that achieved the unanimous acceptance on the part of the members of the Committee, composed currently of: Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mongolia, Palestine, Republic of Korea, Senegal, Turkey and Zambia.

The report, result of an extensive documentary and field research describes the Charrería as a clear example of the diversity of cultural expressions that arise from the meeting of cultures that gives origin to Mexico, and which birth dates back to the XVI century when, as a result of the establishment and peak of cattle ranches in the center and Northern Mexico, emerges the necessity of coexistence between herders of different farms to get together in order to brand cattle of every property, making the farm chores a cause for coexistence and social articulation, being the origin of a Mexican equestrian school that allowed manage livestock while riding a horse and that was distinguished, among other things, by the use of the riding saddle and the rope, essential tool to lasso the cattle.

Currently, the Charrería is practiced in Mexico through almost 2,000 annual events where around 1,000 existent Charro Associations participate. Of no less importance to note is that its practice was disseminated to the United States of America where 184 Charro communities can be found in 13 states, namely, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.

The nomination of the Charrería will allow for a broader dissemination of the goals of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, as well as the binding of the values that promotes the charrería with the Intangible Cultural Heritage in general and its transferring to younger generations will be guaranteed by allowing the creation of new possibilities for the practice of the charrería collectively and individually.

In this way, Mexico has now a total of eight nominations on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage with what the Mexican Government reiterates its responsibility with the safeguarding, preservation and revaluation of the Mexican traditions that makes the Mexican cultural identity up.

As the leading country in terms of the nominations of the Heritage Lists of the UNESCO, Mexico will continue to advocate for strengthening the international protection regime of the variety of cultural sites and expressions designated as World Heritage, its transferring to the future generations in optimum conditions of preservation and a wider dissemination to favor a better understanding of our values and cultural identity and promotion of an intercultural dialogue in favor of the peace and development.