Workshop Format// Formats des Ateliers

Poster/ Affiches

DOI

https://doi.org/10.7275/rtnz-cr94

Organizer/Presenter/author Information // Informations sur l'organisateur / le présentateur / auteurs

Xuanlin Liu, University of YorkFollow

Biographical Information // Informations biographiques

Ms Liu holds M.Phil. in Archaeology at University of Cambridge and M.S. in Sustainable Heritage at UCL, UK, and she is now a PhD Candidate in Archaeology at the University of York, UK. She worked as an Intern in Cultural Unit at Bangkok Office, UNESCO in 2018. Ms Liu’s is a member of ICOMOS China and her research concerns ICH, living heritage, Critical Heritage Studies, Inner Mongolian heritage and World Heritage.

Keywords

Cultural landscapes, rural heritage. Living heritage, dichotomy, materiality, intangibility, modernity, change

Abstract // Résumé

Intangible cultural heritage has been gaining increasingly attention and is now being used to critique the tangible-dominated authorized heritage discourses. However, the emphasis on non-material discourse could lead to a dichotomy between tangible and intangible heritage and overlook the materiality in intangible heritage. This has been found in the analysis of the development of cultural heritage discourse, the professional heritage management works and people’s experience in heritage tourism. In order to mitigate the dichotomy, this paper proposes a living heritage approach to investigate the making of heritage values through an understanding of people’s cultural practices of the materiality with their subjective agencies and experiences.

This research uses Mongolian Ger as an example. Mongolian Ger is traditional dwellings that have predominantly located in central Asia for over three thousand years. These traditional dwellings form an essential part of pastoralism. The making craft of Mongolian Ger has been listed as national intangible cultural heritage in China in 2008. However, the Ger in recent times has been influenced by permanent grazing, tourism and modernity. The wooden material has been replaced by bricks, and the Gers has been transformed to solid structure instead of movable ones. They are now frequently used as tourism attractions and restaurants that have less original functions, which corresponds to the changes of Inner Mongolia’s society.

Noting insufficient consideration on the intangible aspects of the Ger, including traditional handcraft skills of the Mongolian Ger as well as various people’s use of the Ger, the research tends to redefine the relationship between tangible and intangible heritage, based on an analysis of professional and public opinions of the differences between “traditional Ger” and “modern Ger”. Through observation it is seen that even though the physical environment is changing inevitably, people could still perceive the process of cultural creation in the tangibility because it can be seen as an embodiment of the living culture. In this scenario, the material creation does not only lead to culture changes but also becomes a medium that enables people to perceive and adopt culture changes. This research finally provides a living holistic thinking to explore Mongolian Ger in respect to living heritage approach, which requires balanced practices and sufficient considerations on both tangible and intangible dimensions.

Bibliographic References // Références Bibliographiques

Baille, B., & Chippindale, C., 2007. Conference report: Tangible-Intangible cultural heritage: A sustainable dichotomy? The 7th Annual Cam- bridge Heritage Seminar, 13 May 2006. McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, UK. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, 8, 174- 176.


Cassar, M. 2009. Sustainable Heritage: Challenges and Strategies for the Twenty-First Century, APT Bulletin. Journal of Preservation Technology, 40 (1), 3 - 11.

Smith, L., & Akagawa, N. (Eds.). 2009. Intangible Heritage (First ed.). London and New York: Routledge.

Evans, C. & Humphrey, C. 2002. After-lives of the Mongolian yurt - The 'archaeology' of a Chinese tourist camp. Journal of Material Culture, 7, 189-210.

UNESCO. 2013. Traditional craftsmanship of the Mongol Ger and its associated customs. Retrieved from https://ich.unesco.org/en/RL/traditional-craftsmanship-of-the-mongol-ger-and-its-associated-customs-00872

Share

COinS
 

Panel 5 Paper 5.2: Reconceptualising Intangible heritage: The case of the Mongolian Ger.

Intangible cultural heritage has been gaining increasingly attention and is now being used to critique the tangible-dominated authorized heritage discourses. However, the emphasis on non-material discourse could lead to a dichotomy between tangible and intangible heritage and overlook the materiality in intangible heritage. This has been found in the analysis of the development of cultural heritage discourse, the professional heritage management works and people’s experience in heritage tourism. In order to mitigate the dichotomy, this paper proposes a living heritage approach to investigate the making of heritage values through an understanding of people’s cultural practices of the materiality with their subjective agencies and experiences.

This research uses Mongolian Ger as an example. Mongolian Ger is traditional dwellings that have predominantly located in central Asia for over three thousand years. These traditional dwellings form an essential part of pastoralism. The making craft of Mongolian Ger has been listed as national intangible cultural heritage in China in 2008. However, the Ger in recent times has been influenced by permanent grazing, tourism and modernity. The wooden material has been replaced by bricks, and the Gers has been transformed to solid structure instead of movable ones. They are now frequently used as tourism attractions and restaurants that have less original functions, which corresponds to the changes of Inner Mongolia’s society.

Noting insufficient consideration on the intangible aspects of the Ger, including traditional handcraft skills of the Mongolian Ger as well as various people’s use of the Ger, the research tends to redefine the relationship between tangible and intangible heritage, based on an analysis of professional and public opinions of the differences between “traditional Ger” and “modern Ger”. Through observation it is seen that even though the physical environment is changing inevitably, people could still perceive the process of cultural creation in the tangibility because it can be seen as an embodiment of the living culture. In this scenario, the material creation does not only lead to culture changes but also becomes a medium that enables people to perceive and adopt culture changes. This research finally provides a living holistic thinking to explore Mongolian Ger in respect to living heritage approach, which requires balanced practices and sufficient considerations on both tangible and intangible dimensions.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.