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Spain: the manual touch of bells and esparto protected as Cultural Heritage

Madrid / The Spanish Government has approved today that the manual ringing of bells and the esparto culture are declared Representative Manifestations of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which implies that they will be the object of safeguarding by the public administrations.

The declaration of esparto culture aims to “promote the cultural, identity, economic, social and environmental values ​​of this activity,” according to a statement released below.

The government spokeswoman recalled that it is “a millenary element of Spanish culture” that has traditionally been linked to the agricultural system and work, but that has flourished in recent times thanks to fashion and craft culture.

Esparto: the areas most associated with this practice are located in the basin of the Guadiana Menor River, in Andalusia, and in the Segura River, in Murcia, and in places such as Blanca, Calasparra, Archena and Cieza in Murcia, Jódar, Cabra del Santo Cristo and Úbeda in Jaén, Cúllar, Benamaurel and Castilléjar in Granada, Stacks in Seville, and even Madrid.

As for the manual ringing of bells, it is “a sound language that has worked over the centuries as a means of communication that fulfills the social functions of informing, coordinating, delimiting territory and protecting”, in addition to the simple call to mass, says the statement.

The touches of bells have been responsible for organizing community life, to define time and work space, daily, festive and mourning, he explains.

Ringing of bells: Both in the religious and the civil sphere, “there is a wide repertoire with a great diversity of forms and techniques that have announced fires, storms, rogatives, hours and events of the life cycle, and have regulated different aspects of the festive, ritual, labor and daily life “, says the Spanish Government.

With this statement, the executive seeks to avoid the loss of this custom that has stopped running in many places, although his knowledge has not yet been lost and many towers and bells are still in a position to be recovered.

The Government emphasizes that there is a “documentary gap” in this heritage area, since only 10% of the existing campaigns in Spain are adequately documented.

And remember that the request to protect this custom has arisen from various associations of protection of historical heritage that, among other initiatives, on April 21 of last year carried out a simultaneous touch at European level. (April 17, 2019, EFE / PracticaEspañol)

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