Fulfilling the desire of the potters of Quinchamalí and Santa Cruz de Cuca, and consolidating the result of four years of dialogue and sustained work with the community, the State, through the Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage, This week it sent the file to apply for this practice to UNESCO's Urgent Safeguarding List.
More than in museums, in beautiful books and in state programs, at Cordillerana we believe that the strengthening of crafts is in the strengthening of its fair, sustainable and sustained trade. Although we are happy with this news as a recognition of everyone's heritage, it also confirms our vision, that a traditional profession that does not find a place in our homes and in our lives, is a profession destined to die. And that's what we work for every day!
“The work that we are sealing today is a seed of pride and identity for future generations. It is a promise of memory and value for its own sake, where the women and men who once practiced pottery, the grandmothers and mothers who passed it on to their loved ones, and those who today are committed to imbuing it with new life, live again,” said the minister. of Cultures, Consuelo Valdés, who signed the file to send it, via diplomatic bag, to the Secretariat for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO, in Paris, France.
The 600-page file recounts the characteristics that highlight the importance of this intangible heritage and gives an account of the citizen participation process with minutes, attendance lists, press, letters of support and letters of commitment, among other information. It allocates space to threats, addressing the difficulties that potters have experienced in collecting raw materials due to the privatization of the land where they usually obtained them and industrialization; and details the work carried out by the State to generate safeguard measures and proposals to implement them. This is because the Urgent Safeguard List requires concrete measures and commitments, from multiple actors and public departments.
“This tradition is in danger of disappearing due to various factors,” said potter Nayadet Núñez in the ceremony that was held in the Ñuble region to commemorate this shipment, which generates hope in the community. “We see the sacrifice of our families and the youngest people unmotivated to continue with this tradition. This application opens a new light of hope, seeking alliances, unifying efforts, preserving and protecting this tradition.”
The pottery of Quinchamalí and Santa Cruz de Cuca is transmitted intergenerationally and constitutes a very deep imprint of identity in the Ñuble region. It is a manual process and a craft inherited from an indigenous tradition, with Hispanic attributes that are syncretized in a repertoire of pieces of an ornamental and utilitarian nature, which recreate the most significant elements of rurality and the peasant imagination. Their pieces, black in color with white incisions, are the result of the use of technologies that have lasted for at least two centuries, and that are marketed by the potters themselves. For all this, the pottery of Quinchamalí and Santa Cruz de Cuca have been part of the Registry and Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Chile since 2017, the same year in which the pottery community requested to enter the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.
But in July 2020 and after three years of work, in which the Ministry of Cultures requested advice to review the file and after the artisans raised the serious environmental problems that put the element at risk, this ministry, to Through its National Subdirectorate of Intangible Cultural Heritage, it presented a technical report that recommended applying to the Urgent Safeguard List.
In January 2021, 59 potters gave their informed consent, through videos and letters, to the application form and the 10-minute video that are part of the file. In 2022 UNESCO will provide the response to this application.