UNESCO and Ojkanje singing

Kao što već svi znate od sredine studenog 2010. ojkanje je upisano na UNESCO popis ugrožene svjetske baštine.
Pod ojkavicom, u ovom slučaju, se misli na stil pjevanja s karakterističnim potresanjem glasa, pjeva se na poseban način "iz grla", a traje koliko i dah glavnog pjevača i pratitelja. Takvo pjevanje srećemo već od Karlovca, preko Like, Dalmacije, Hercegovine pa sve do Konavala. Elemente tih pjevanja lokalni puk obično označava kao stara ili starovinska pivanja. Takvo pjevanje u Cetinskom kraju nazivaju se treskavica ili vojkavica, u Dalmatinskoj Zagori ojkalica, u šibenskom zaleđu ojkavica, u Ravnim Kotarima i Bukovici orzenje, u Lici rozganje, u Hrcegovini i Imotskoj krajini staro pivanje ili putničko pivanje. To je ostatak arhaičnog pjevanja koje je ovdašnji narod sačuvao kao dio vlastitog identiteta.
Iz tog "prapjevanja", iz tog arhaičkog stila vremenom su nastale ganga i rera te slična pivanja. Dakle ne misli se u ovom slučaju samo na pivanje iz dalmatinske zagore, već se radi o punom širem kontekstu. Ojkavica je dobila ime od ovog "oj", što bi se reklo radi se o tkz "dozivalačkom" stilu pjevanja.


Službeno rješenje UNESCO:

Fifth session Kenya November 2010

Ojkanje Singing

Individual singers and local communities in the villages of the Dalmatian hinterland (the Dubrovnik coastline; the area surrounding the towns of Imotski, Vrgorac and Sinj; the regions of Dalmatinska Zagora, Ravni Kotari and Bukovica), the regions of Lika and Kordun and the area surrounding the town of Karlovac.
Though Ojkanje singing suggests prominent individual singers, in the local community their activities are best supported by folklore groups.

The brief description of the element will be particularly helpful in allowing the Committee to know at a glance what element is being proposed for inscription, and, in the event of inscription, may be used for purposes of visibility.
Not to exceed 200 words.
Ojkanje – free beat singing – has a prominent position in the local community. Individual tradition bearers are respected members of their communities. Almost all the bearers feel that Ojkanje is a recognisable symbol of their identity in which they take great pride. In expert circles, Ojkanje is the name given to the oldest known variant of archaic, traditional singing in Croatian regions which, according to the established ethnological division, belong to the Dinaric area – the regions of the Dalmatian hinterland, such as Ravni Kotari and Bukovica, the slopes of the mountain of Velebit, the regions of Lika and Kordun, as well as the area surrounding the town of Karlovac. This is a type of archaic singing which characterises a specific shaking of the voice achieved through a special technique of singing 'from the throat'.

The main reason for proposing the urgent protection of this musical phenomenon is the current break in the continuity of transmitting this knowledge to new generations. In the past, Ojkanje was learned only through oral tradition. The younger generations, by listening and imitating their elders, adopted, performed and improved the tradition and then transmitted it to new generations. Today's tradition carriers are mostly older people who are the last to know the specific styles of singing. The globalised and standardised way of life in rural regions prevents the younger generations from learning this type of singing actively, as an integral part of their lives. The media (audio and video) and organised transmission within the activities of local folklore groups are today becoming the methods by which the contemporary generations have the chance of acquiring knowledge of this style of singing. Safeguarding it would involve the long-term education of the leaders, while organisers of folklore groups would contribute to the survival of this musical phenomenon.
Another aspect of safeguarding measures pertains to identifying the still living tradition bearers whose performance could thus become a model for new generations to use in their work. Contacts with the local tradition bearers have shown their great interest in cooperation, which would be implemented through the organised targeted recording of repertoires in different performances. Video and audio recordings of current tradition bearers thus become crucial for keeping this type of singing alive.

Solo singing – Ojkanje singing, as described in the writings of Fortis, is also called 'travel' (putničko, kiridžijsko) singing or 'solitary' (samačko) singing. In some regions in the past there was also the 'shaking' (ustresalica) type of singing (the Konavle region), which has now completely disappeared from living practice, and the 'wedding' (po svajski) type of singing in the region around the town of Dubrovnik, which was similar to 'rozganje' singing that was performed in the region of Lika. However, rozganje singing in the Karlovac region is now becoming increasingly present in the performances of local folklore groups.
Two-part singing occurs in a wider area of the Croatian coast and in its hinterland and has been preserved in different musical genres, some of which represent the dominant type of traditional singing in the respective regions. This relates to 'ojkalica', which is the name used for this type of singing in the area between the Rivers Krka and Cetina (the regions of Drniška Krajina, the hinterland of the town of Šibenik, Kijevo and Vrlika). In the regions of Ravni Kotari and Bukovica, the traditional vocal style in which Ojkanje singing is the dominant element is called 'orzenje' (orcenje, orcanje or groktanje among the Orthodox population). In the region of Cetinska Krajina, under the mountains of Svilaja and Moseč, this type of singing, when performed by men, is called 'treskavica' (or today 'starovinsko'), and when performed by women 'vojkavica' (Bezić 1968:69-176). The same name 'treskavica' is used in the hinterland of Trogir and Kaštele (or 'grgešanje' in Grebaštica), while in northern Poljice, skilful singers still perform the two-part 'kiridžijsko' singing. Ojkanje singing is also usually translated as 'mountain-country singing' and 'singing on the syllable 'oj''.

Identification of the community(ies), group(s) or, if applicable, individual(s) concerned and their location
Because intangible heritage can only be identified with reference to communities, groups or individuals that recognize it as part of their cultural heritage, it is important to identify clearly the community(ies), group(s) or, if applicable, individual(s) concerned with the nominated element. The Convention provides no definition of a community, but the information here should allow the Committee to identify the primary parties concerned with an element, and should be mutually coherent with the relevant sections below.
The bearers of this tradition are prominent individual singers who have acquired their knowledge through direct learning – by imitating the musical talent of their predecessors. The modern way of life which has, in the last few decades, completely replaced the traditional one, has left significant consequences on the development of rural traditional culture, including the oldest types of traditional singing such as Ojkanje. These changes have primarily affected the younger generations who are not sufficiently aware of the importance of continuing the tradition.
Today Ojkanje singing is most commonly performed at different public events in the local communities. The communities that have inherited Ojkanje, in the places mentioned above, promote Ojkanje as part of their cultural life. The bearers of this tradition in these places are numerous newly established performing groups founded in the specified regions occupied during the Homeland War (1990-1995). Their survival and, in some cases, complete revival, can be explained by that fact. The link between the living tradition of Ojkanje and modern life has been established to a certain extent, although its further support and recognition by the authorities and inscription on the UNESCO List would help take it to another level to ensure its continuation in the future.
Unlike many other traditional singing bearers, those of Ojkanje are recognised by their name, which is due to the fact that they also sing solo. The names of Marija Prelas from Srijan, Tomislav Pervan (Garo) from Kokorići, Jose Nimac and Mirko Stipić from Lišani Ostrovički, Tomo Jagodić from Ličko Lešće, Duje Jajčanin and Stanko Barešić from Vrana, Ana Brala from Posedarje, Šime Paić and Mihovilka (Karmele) Jokić from Radovina rank among the renowned singers, the bearers of Ojkanje.
The tradition of cultural and amateur organisations presenting and performing rural traditions started in Croatia in the first half of the 20th century and in the period between the two World Wars. The Croatian Peasant Party, motivated by contemporary disputes between the members of the Croatian political intelligence founded a cultural, educational and charitable organisation under the name Peasant Union. In the period between the two World Wars, the Peasant Union organised folklore festivals where, during the 1920s and especially from the 1930s, rural traditions (music, dance, folk costumes, playing traditional instruments) were presented. Besides performance, these local activities had the goal of safeguarding the special and unique customs and culture present in the rural area. The above-mentioned forms of Ojkanje singing were frequently performed at those first festivals because, already at that time, they were considered valuable examples of the old, 'archaic' culture which had to be preserved and emphasised in every possible way. Those organised groups, founded in many villages in that period, drew together local tradition bearers and have, in some regions, continued to transmit the skills and knowledge up to the present day. Thus, these associations and groups of local people have continued many traditions, adjusting them to the new, globalised way of life. Today, these associations remain the main carriers of their rural tradition and identity, and they represent their villages at numerous cultural- artistic festivals in Croatia and around the world. In their local setting, these groups are the main initiators of cultural and social life, the organisers of cultural festivals, workshops and other events, and of village cultural life in general, in cooperation with the local tourist offices. The majority of the population in the above-mentioned regions are Croats of Roman Catholic faith, even though there are some villages where the population is mixed and where Croats are in the majority, or villages populated exclusively by the Orthodox population. Irrespective of the national or confessional background of the inhabitants, Ojkanje singing is a joint tradition of the people inhabiting these regions.

Geographic location and range of the element
This section should identify the range of distribution of the element, indicating if possible the geographic location(s) in which it is concentrated. If related elements are practised in neighbouring areas, please so indicate.
The Dalmatian hinterland is the region which, according to the classical ethnographic division, belongs to the Dinaric area (Gavazzi) and includes several micro-regions (geographically, socially and historically determined): Bukovica, Ravni Kotari, the inland areas of Šibenik, Trogir, Split and Kaštele, the area around the town of Knin, Poljice, the region of Drniš, Cetina, Imotski and Vrgorac, the coastal area around Dubrovnik, Župa and Konavle.
Various types of Ojkanje singing are distributed throughout the region, but with different intensities. The peripheral regions, such as Konavle, have already abandoned the old traditional types of singing and have adopted new, tonal, multi-part types of singing (such as klapa-singing).
The situation is similar in the regions around Velebit Mountain, Lika and Kordun.
Ojkanje type of singing is today rarely found. The above-mentioned regions also belong to the Dinaric ethnographic area. The Karlovac region is a peripheral Dinaric region which has shown recently, unlike other neighbouring regions, an increase in popularity of traditional Ojkanje singing (rozganje), which points to a possible revitalisation of this type of singing even in the areas where the tradition no longer exists.
A similar type of singing is also present in the neighbouring country of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Domain(s) represented by the element
Identify the domain(s) of intangible cultural heritage manifested by the element, which might include one or more of the domains identified in Article 2.2 of the Convention.
(a) oral expressions,
(b) performing arts, especially music and dance;
(c) social practices.

The Ojkanje singing is characterised by two-part singing, still performed today by two or more singers (male or female), and singing in one breath. Singing (the song) lasts as long as the lead singer can hold his/her breathe. The lead singer usually sings the first line himself/herself (inicij), and in the second line is accompanied by a group of singers singing the text or just a vowel (a dark 'e' or open 'o'), supplemented with a characteristic trill, similar to a vibrato, sung with a full voice on the syllables 'voj' or 'hoj' in order to achieve 'the perfect effect of acoustic unity'. The melodies are based on limited tonal scales, mostly chromatic, with intervals which do not match the common contemporary standards of musical intervals. In the outlined polyphone musical forms, the dominant interval is the great second. The singing often ends with a great second (or with inhaling, 'odušak'), which is treated as a consonant interval. The decasyllabic verses in couplets used in Ojkanje singing vary in themes, and are still being recreated during the performance, usually reflecting the current social issues, such as love, politics, and other themes. Many of the verses that have long been transmitted until today reflect pre-Slavic cultural traits.
The local population uses local terminology to distinguish the special characteristics of the singing – they are best familiar with the forms they practise themselves or actively listen to, as well as the forms from the peripheral regions they are in contact with. The terms they use mostly describe the activity occurring during the singing itself. Such verbs as 'goniti, orcati, kockati, groktati, grgašati, krećati, tresti, ustresati, otezati, priginjati, sijecati, jecati, vatati, nazivati' and others refer to different techniques which unfamiliar listeners can hardly differentiate, as they can have difficulties in recognising numerous variations between melodies inside a single genre. Not so long ago, people used this type of singing as a means of everyday communication (calling out for someone through the shaking of the voice), while doing their everyday jobs or when travelling by horse-drawn caravans, as an entertainment around the open fire during long winter nights, or as a way to pass the time while they were watching their grazing cattle.
The functions that this type of singing had in the past - those of communication, narration and the transfer of oral history and culture - have nowadays been completely transformed. Its main function these days is as presentation and performance instead of communication. These singers now perform their repertoires mostly in formal and semi-formal situations. This musical idiom remains an important factor in shaping recognisable cultural symbols of the local community, although the lack of a communication function has halted its transfer to new generations.
The influence of 'Western' culture – both its civilisation and system of values – seems to prevent this musical tradition from living its full existence. Changes are obvious in the selection of musical styles. The concept of a structured musical piece adopted from the West has resulted in the disappearance of open-ended and improvisational genres, the weakening of the concept of organised group singing and the disappearance of the genres of solo singing.
The basic way in which this musical genre is presented and explained is in the performance itself, i.e., what the singers have learned through listening to and by imitating their predecessors, and only partially in the description of the performance itself.
Many wars swept through this relatively small area in the past, leaving it depopulated and destroyed. The people have managed to revive the area, continuing the traditions of their forefathers. Belonging to various faiths that were once present, and some of which are still present, in these regions (polytheism, Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Islam) has not prevented the transmission of Ojkanje singing, because the music is not determined by ethnicity or religious identity, but is a unique characteristic, in this case, of the Dinaric area.
Performance is the life symbol of certain genres. Those which are not performed are doomed to oblivion, not because there is no one who can perform them, but because they are not attractive enough for the audience. Thus, a number of genres of solo singing have disappeared. Some of the older genres, for example 'treskavica' in the region of Sinjska Krajina or Ogorski Plato, are called 'starovinski' (oldish), which marks them as still existing, but far from their prime; they are usually performed only by older people and are therefore not attractive enough for 'contemporary' performance, which might lead to their disappearance in the near future.
The main reason for the disappearance of the above forms of musical communication is the change in the way of life. The context in which such styles and genres were performed has virtually disappeared. The changes in daily life, especially family and private life, have pushed out archaic styles and genres and replaced them with more popular ones, inspired by tradition. In most cases, it is necessary to raise awareness in the local community which does not understand that the life cycle of free beat singing can only be prolonged by well-planned local community activities.
Since the mid 1990s, after the Homeland War in Croatia, the atmosphere of national revival yielded a significant increase in the number of organised performing cultural- artistic associations ('kulturno- umjetničko društvo'- KUD), especially in the regions directly affected by the war. For example, in the region of Ravni Kotari in Zadar County there was not a single organised village association KUD before the war, while today there are about seventy.
Their agenda is to preserve and/or revive the old repertoire and performing styles typical of their close community and encourage high-quality performers to perform more frequently in public with a view to motivating potential singers to learn this type of singing. This might be a way to raise interest, not only in the local community, but also in others who would be willing to accept the challenge of singing in ways that are nowadays considered to be extraordinary.

There are still certain members of the mentioned communities who hold Ojkanje singing in great esteem. These are usually young people who were raised by their grandparents who included singing in the upbringing of their grandchildren. These young people are also recognised by their respective communities as exceptional singers and tradition bearers. The names of the following young people, Perica Tucak and Perica Vodanović from Runović, Zdravko Muselin from Ljubitovica, Marko and Ivana Škopljanac from Radošić, stand out in their respective local communities as those who are going to continue the tradition.
The basis of this musical system, i.e. the mechanisms on which the system is built, is unconventional when compared to the musical systems based on the West European musical tradition. Colour, texture, group performance (dominating over individual performance), the stability of non-beat tonal relationships, in fact, all the elements which form the basis of this system, are completely different form their counterparts in West European musical harmony. The musical characteristics of styles and genres are recognisable through the melodies, with a small, limited number of tones. The tonal intervals of this musical system do not match the standard intervals either in their size or in their function. The interval of the great second is dominant in the majority of styles and genres, frequently appearing as the final, cadenza tone which is treated as a consonant interval.
Ojkanje is a tradition which has been built over the course of centuries by prominent individual singers and has been a recognisable brand of specific local communities. Individual techniques of voice-shaking, numerous two-part forms which have, in certain localities, developed into new traditional singing forms, have always depended on talented, skilful singers, their capacity to perform, but also on their ability to pass on their knowledge to new generations. Due to the decreasing number of skilled performers, some of the genres have disappeared forever, and now there is a unique opportunity to document the current situation in the field in order to enable a new generation of singers to come into contact with the tradition and its bearers.

Threat and risk assessment
By setting up (local) performing groups which receive starting funds upon registration, local communities are trying to make up for a part of the social life the tradition bearers had in the past. Local communities organise gatherings, events and festivals where the repertoire consists of old traditional dances and songs. Among the 'significant changes' which have marked European traditional music since the 1950s, namely 'festivalization, orientation toward public performance, professionalization, internationalization, institutionalization, and mediatization' (Ronström and Malm 2000:149), the processes of festivalization and the related institutionalisation of traditional musicians have unquestionably been the most important in Croatia. Since the 1930s, the production of folklore festivals—the most significant site for the application of ethnomusicological, ethnochoreological, folkloristic, and ethnological scholarship in Croatia—has played a major role in allowing traditional music to become part of the canon, that is, for particular genres and styles to be configured as legitimate traditions, and for particular performers to be distinguished as legitimate bearers of tradition.
In Croatia today, traditional music (as part of the canon) is largely practised in relation to festivals. Rehearsals for and performances at festivals are the most important spaces of traditional music, and festivals serve as a strong incentive for the continuation of these activities, which are understood as a way to safeguard traditional music. Indeed, festivals and/or similar events have a well established, if not inevitable, role in representing diverse communities, traditional or otherwise, in Croatia. In keeping with the popular conceptions of Croatian folklore, authentic music is an immediate expression and integral part of local culture. For cultural-artistic societies (KUDs) which adhere to notions of authenticity, activities focus on maintaining an exclusively local and/or regional repertoire based on the conviction that they are safeguarding original forms taken from the past without modification. Accordingly, a good rendition is one whose structural characteristics mimetically replicate past performances as much as possible. The issue of rehearsing—and more generally, the issue of knowledge and skill transfer—is put aside, making the opposition between the notion of folklore as an integral part of culture (which is learned through the whole process of enculturation) and the regulatory mechanism of public practice (which demands the relatively systematic appropriation of canons). Besides the complex and ambiguous relationship between the informal and regulated transfer of knowledge and skills, the concept of authenticity is no less complex regarding the desired level of variability, individuality, and inventiveness of musicians and dancers. Actually, the source of ambiguity lies in the need to maintain values (patterns and approaches) from the past, which at the same time are supposed to be an expression and integral part of contemporary local culture. In this respect, Ojkanje is a musical phenomenon which is treated with great respect by everybody, especially the local community.

Items 4.a. to 4.c. request the elaboration of a coherent set of safeguarding measures as called for in Criterion U.3.
U.3. Safeguarding measures are elaborated that may enable the community, group or, if applicable, individuals concerned to continue the practice and transmission of the element.
The safeguarding measures, if effectively implemented, should be expected to contribute substantially to the safeguarding of the element within a time-frame of approximately four years. They should include measures aimed at ensuring the viability of the element by enabling the community to continue its practice and transmission.
N.B. In cases of extreme urgency, the Committee may accept that, at the time of nomination, the safeguarding measures proposed do not yet form a well-elaborated action plan for safeguarding; elaboration of a comprehensive plan might thus be among the safeguarding measures outlined in such cases.

Current and recent efforts to safeguard the element
Owing to the modes of public presentation of the folklore heritage established at the beginning of the 20th century, the Croatian public managed to acquire a certain positive attitude towards archaic forms that represented the local tradition. As a result of these public performances, some forms of singing have managed to extend their life span. Many festivals organised today at the local, regional or state level are attempting in their programmes to promote the same values. One of the more important festivals which helps promote this type of singing is the Folklore Festival of Dalmatia entitled 'Na Neretvu misečina pala', which has been held in the town of Metković since 1984 and which gathers numerous folklore groups and ensembles from many local communities in Dalmatia (the islands, coastal areas and the Dalmatian hinterland). The festival reveals the differences in traditional music, dance, folk costumes and customs. After the performances, experts in different aspects of traditional culture organise discussions.
This attempt to encourage folklore groups to participate in the festivals involves a number of experts, in this case primarily Vido Bagur, a folklorist and pedagogue, who regularly visits the folklore ensembles invited to the festival in Metković. Through regular monitoring of the groups, conducting research and preparing always novel festival programmes that emphasise the differences in the traditional heritage of respective villages, the prerequisites are created for the protection, preservation, revitalisation and, if necessary, reconstruction of the intangible heritage. This is an excellent example of how one segment of tradition, otherwise performed by the most skilled individuals, is now, through organised local folklore groups and ensembles, participating in the promotion of that very segment of intangible heritage at festivals of a local, regional and international character and at other local events. Besides the festival in Metković, it is important to emphasise many county folklore festivals organised in these regions (Šibenik, Muć, Polača, Otočac, Ogulin, Cetingrad) which, in their annual shows, present the most valuable aspects of the traditional culture of their local communities.
At the scientific conference 'Culture and Tourism' at the 24th Folklore Festival 'Na Neretvu misečina pala', the participants discussed the role of folklore festivals and the relationship between cultural politics and traditional culture, especially regarding the questions of the intangible heritage, the UNESCO 2003 Convention, traditional culture, sustainable development and tourism. The conference was organised in cooperation with the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research in Zagreb, within the framework of a scientific project financed by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports.
In the past few years, local tourist offices have also recognised the importance of intangible traditional culture and have themselves become initiators of some of the festivals of traditional singers, especially those targeted at foreign tourists.
The importance of this type of singing was recognised by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia which inscribed it in the Register of Cultural Heritage and emphasised it as a segment of the intangible heritage worthy of public promotion and which encouraged local creativity and diversity.

Safeguarding measures proposed
This section should identify and describe a coherent set of safeguarding measures that, within a time-frame of approximately four years, could substantially enhance the viability of the element, if implemented, and provide detailed information as follows:
What primary objective(s) will be addressed and what concrete results will be expected?
What are the key activities to be carried out in order to achieve these expected results? Please describe the activities in detail and in their best sequence, addressing their feasibility.
Management and implementation: Describe the mechanisms for the full participation of communities, groups or, if appropriate, individuals in the proposed safeguarding measures. Describe the implementing organization or body (name, background, etc.) and the human resources available for implementing the project.
Timetable and budget: Provide a timetable for the proposed activities and estimate the funds required for their implementation, identifying any available resources (governmental sources, in-kind community inputs, etc.).

One of the intervention measures is the so-called 'classical' approach which has been applied in this region for centuries – transferring knowledge by imitating older, more experienced performers. Such performers should be hired by the local community to participate in workshops held by highly-skilled trainers. This would be a good opportunity to introduce the singing techniques described above to those interested. Indeed, it is important to stress that the general public is interested. We can learn lessons on how to proceed from previous experience. The best examples are traditional instrumental performances on the lirika (lyre) and the gajde (bagpipes). These instruments that were on the verge of becoming obsolete have experienced an incredible revival in the past decade with an increasing number of performers, especially young ones, originating from the regions in which these instruments are not regarded as traditional. The tradition bearers of Ojkanje have a similar vision and believe that the systematic presentation of this form of singing through workshops and festivals would result in greater interest for this type of traditional singing. Performing groups (KUDs) will be instrumental in the implementation of this vision and in the accompanying plans.
Through performing group activities, people socialise, use their free time meaningfully, and nurture social connections in the community. Safeguarding their own cultural identity is usually stated as the main purpose of the KUDs' existence. The regular meetings/rehearsals where they practise their repertoire are usually associated with eating and drinking as forms of social exchange. Rehearsed programmes are performed at numerous local, regional or national folklore festivals, the origins of which in Croatia reach back to the 1920s and 1930s. Performing offers opportunities to visit new places, and, in turn, KUDs frequently host groups from elsewhere, all of which inspires KUD members to participate regularly in activities. Contemporary KUDs usually make their own flags, informative leaflets and brochures about their locality, region and KUD activities, as well as occasional souvenirs. More and more these days, CDs and DVDs are among the products that KUDs give as gifts to their guests or offer for sale.
The production methods of these sound and visual recordings are interesting. Sound recordings are usually done by technicians from local radio stations. All of the material may be recorded in one session, while at other times it is compiled from different performances (e.g., the local radio, USL10 – No. 00320 – page 10 festivals). The resulting 'master' is usually multiplied by burning CDs, on the cover of which goes either a photograph of the KUD members dressed in folk costume, a local church, or a characteristic local landscape. A photograph, the name of the KUD and its locality, and the list of tracks are often the only data on the CD. The recorded repertoire varies from renditions of specific local traditions to renditions of popular traditional songs that KUD members typically sing at after-parties - informal social gatherings with other friends of traditional culture after having completed an official stage performance.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and with its support, local communities are ready to implement projects to safeguard, preserve, maintain and make Ojkanje more popular as a specific, endangered musical tradition recognised by the wider community. A possibility also exists to carry out a project of recording performances which the wider community (Ministry of Culture) is ready to initiate. These and other initiatives would be implemented over a period of five years with symbolic support given to local festivals (the Folklore Festival in Polača, the Folklore Festival of Dalmatia in Metković, the Folklore Festival in Lišane Ostrovičke, the Folklore Festival of the County of Lika and Senj in Otočac, the Folklore Festival of the County of Karlovac under the title 'Dancing Kolo' in Ogulin) where singers (tradition bearers) would perform.
Workshops could be organised in each of these places and used to transfer actual knowledge to the members of the local community, as well as to all other singers interested in this type of singing. This would give the local community an opportunity to participate directly and instrumentally in the process of reviving this endangered vocal repertoire which is one of the major trademarks of local identity.
Further activities should include international cooperation and meetings of individuals and groups from the neighbouring country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this way, raising awareness of Ojkanje singing and many of its variants would be achieved in both countries, and its value would be promoted. Intercultural dialogue could be achieved within these activities.

Commitments of States and of communities, groups or individuals concerned
By inscribing Ojkanje singing in its Register of Cultural Goods, the Republic of Croatia has demonstrated its readiness to support attempts to preserve different forms of Ojkanje singing.
Certain communities and individuals are engaged in safeguarding activities and are ready and willing to continue safeguarding the element. In their view, the best ways to achieve the desired goal are as follows:
- transmission of the element from one generation to another by imitating older, more experienced performers
- educating the local population on the importance of preserving cultural identity and protecting the cultural heritage
- setting up of a traditional singing centre or a summer or winter traditional workshop
- organising seminars, research projects and similar activities
- acting through the work of choirs, not-for-profit organisations and cultural clubs
- organising events to promote Ojkanje as an important segment of local identity
- turning towards modern techniques of promotion: by taping and recording performances on CDs, DVDs
- living with the tradition and constantly drawing on it
- slowing down the infiltration of omnipresent modern values
- providing financial support for the tradition bearers.
- the municipality of Lišane Ostrovičke is fully prepared to provide financial and any other means of support to organise the annual Traditional Folklore Festival in the Municipality
- Cultural Club 'Sv. Nikola Tavelić' has offered to be the focal point in carrying out the safeguarding activities and measures
- all culture- artistic associations, in cooperation with the local parishes, also contribute to the realisation of programmes linked to the traditional calendar and specific church holidays during which different types of Ojkanje singing were commonly performed in the respective communities

The tasks mentioned in the project of protection and revitalisation will be implemented gradually, through several stages. The priority is to ensure the education of personnel who will partly be agents in the implementation of other planned tasks. This will be followed by the founding of workshops, which would contribute financially to the achievement of further plans. At the same time, meetings, exhibitions, etc., would be held in the Republic of Croatia and the world with the aim of promoting the traditional skills of Ojkanje singing.
The means for implementing the planned programme would be provided as follows:
30% State Budget, via the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia;
30% local and regional self-government units;
40% other sources (tourism offices, economy, donations, etc.).

This section asks the submitting State Party to establish that the nomination satisfies Criterion U.4: "The element has been nominated following the widest possible participation of the community, group or, if applicable, individuals concerned and with their free, prior and informed consent".

Participation of communities, groups and individuals
Describe how the community, group and, if applicable, individuals concerned have participated in the nomination process at all stages, as required by Criterion U.4. States Parties are further encouraged to prepare nominations with the participation of a wide variety of other concerned parties, including where appropriate local and regional governments, neighbouring communities, NGOs, research institutes, centres of expertise and other interested parties.
The local people, the bearers of Ojkanje singing who were contacted during the drafting stage of the nomination, were very enthusiastic. They agreed to be recorded voluntarily, showed no inhibitions when asked to be recorded on video or tape to share their musical knowledge, and brought in their own amateur audio and video recordings.
In conversation, they always emphasise that they are, first and foremost, aware that the way in which new repertoires are being accepted by the audience has changed, and that they are conscious of new musical parameters (tonal singing) which largely push their tradition aside.
In the letters they have sent for the need of improving the nomination file, they have stated the problems regarding the element, as well as proposed the necessary measures they think should be taken in order to ensure the viability of the element.
In this way, they are going to participate in efforts to safeguard the element for the future.

Free, prior and informed consent
The free, prior and informed consent of the community, group or, if applicable, individuals concerned may be demonstrated through written or recorded concurrence, or through other means, according to the legal regimens of the State Party and the infinite variety of communities and groups concerned. The Committee prefers to welcome a broad range of demonstrations or attestations of community consent rather than specifying any single standard.

Respect for customary practices governing access to the element
Demonstrate that inscription and implementation of the safeguarding measures fully respects customary practices governing access to specific aspects of such heritage, if such practices exist (cf. Article 13). Describe any specific measures that might need to be taken to ensure such respect.
One of the first steps would be to enable interested individuals to participate in real situations in the local communities in which Ojkanje singing is performed. In an authentic setting and in the original context, they would gain a much better insight, meet the carriers of the tradition, learn the skill and hence themselves become possible future promoters of this specific musical expression. In this way, we would achieve better understanding of the local culture, express respect towards the carriers of that cultural good, erase the boundaries between those who perform and those who observe, turning in a certain way all the viewers into participants, establish a better cultural exchange and ensure sustainable development of the rural regions in which this tradition is still alive. Where cultural goods are still vital, the danger of their transformation due to a large number of visitors is significantly smaller. However, attention has to be paid to the sustainability of this phenomenon with regard to the total number of outside visitors. The completion and realisation of these programmes should be monitored by the local community which would warn of the possible dangers of deformation.

This section is where nominators establish that the nomination satisfies Criterion U.5: "The element is included in an inventory of the intangible cultural heritage present in the territory(ies) of the submitting State(s) Party(ies), as defined in Articles 11 and 12".
Identify the inventory in which the element is included and the office, agency, organization or body responsible for maintaining that inventory. The nominated element's inclusion in an inventory should not in any way imply or require that the inventory(ies) should have been completed prior to nomination. Rather, a submitting State Party may be in the process of meeting its obligations to draw up one or more inventories, but has already duly included the nominated element on an inventory-in-progress.
N.B. In cases of extreme urgency, the Committee may wish to interpret this requirement more flexibly in its evaluation of nominations.
In line with the provisions of Article 9 of the Croatian Act on the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Goods (Official Gazette 69/99, 151/03, 157/03) which includes the category of intangible cultural heritage, a formal decision was taken by the Ministry of Culture that the Ojkanje Singing, be safeguarded as part of the intangible cultural heritage, and thus it was inscribed in the Register of Cultural Goods of the Republic of Croatia. The Ojkanje Singing is a separate entry in the Register of Cultural Goods of the Republic of Croatia under no. Z- 4234 in line with the formal decision proclaiming the Ojkanje Singing as an item of the intangible cultural heritage, signed by the Minister of Culture on 6 July 2009.
The Register of Cultural Goods of the Republic of Croatia is a public register kept by the Ministry of Culture. According to the Act on the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Property, cultural properties are registered in the Register of the Cultural Property of the Republic of Croatia. The Register is a public document under the authority of the Ministry of Culture.
The Register consists of three lists:
- List of registered cultural property;
- List of cultural property of national significance;
- List of cultural property under preventive protection.

As far as intangible cultural property is concerned, Croatia has registered 9 phenomena or forms of intangible cultural heritage on the List of Cultural Property under preventive protection, and 77 different phenomena or forms of intangible cultural heritage in the List of Registered Cultural Property. The list is being continuously amended with new intangible cultural goods. There are currently some 130 recorded important phenomena of intangible heritage in the procedure of inscription on the List of Registered Cultural Property. Proposals for the inscription of intangible cultural goods in the Register of the Ministry of Culture are usually submitted by the tradition bearers of the phenomena. Requests for inscription in the Register are drawn up on the corresponding application forms for the establishment of the protection of the intangible cultural property. The tradition bearers use application forms as a guide to which type and scope of data need to be submitted when requesting an element to be entered into the Register. Proposals have also been submitted by the competent conservation departments, the Institute for Ethnology and Folklore Research, the Institute for Croatian Language and Linguistics, and local communities (museums, cultural-artistic societies, non-governmental organisations, etc.). The majority of the proposals have been elaborated for inscription in the register by experts - members of the special Advisory Committee for the Intangible Cultural Heritage established within the Directorate for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture. The Committee is made up of 20 associates from the Ministry of Culture and, outside the Ministry, experts in specific types of intangible heritage for the purpose of encouraging its legal and practical protection, its preservation and promotion both at national and international levels.


List of additional resources
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Ćaleta, Joško. 2002. "Trends and Processes in the Music Culture of the Dalmatian Hinterland". Journal of Mediterranean Music Cultures. Tullia Magrini, ed. [Ethnmusicology Online 6; www.muspe.unibo.it/period/ma/index/number6/].
Ćaleta, Joško. 2004. "Kontinuitet i razvoj tradicijskog glazbovanja na primjeru glazbala dalmatinskog zaleđa." In Zaštita tradicijskog glazbovanja / Safeguarding Traditional Music-Making: Istarski etnomuzikološki susreti / Istrska etnomuzikološka srečanja / Incontri etnomusicologici istriani 2003. Naila Ceribašić, ed. Roč: KUD "Istarski željezničar", 143-159.
Dobronić, Antun. 1915. "Ojkanje. Prilog za proučavanje naše pučke popijevke". Zbornik za narodni život i običaje 20 (1): 1-25.
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