We explain what cultural heritage is in its material and intangible form. In addition, examples in Mexico and the rest of the world.
What is the cultural heritage?
The cultural heritage of a nation or a specific region is its particular cultural heritage, that is, the set of tangible and intangible assets that are strongly linked to its social and cultural identity, that is, which are perceived as characteristics of said country or region.
All communities treasure and maintain some kind of cultural heritage, which they have received from previous generations. This heritage usually becomes a tourist attraction.
Among the cultural manifestations that make up the cultural heritage are very diverse things, ranging from places, buildings and architectural works, to dances, songs, and of course the Fine Arts, such as painting, literature and sculpture. They are recognized by international entities such as Unesco (attached to the United Nations Organization).
In fact, its 1972 Convention on the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage pursued the establishment of a unified international policy around the conservation and promotion of places considered emblematic or emblematic of a culture, a region or a certain ethnic group, or even of humanity as a whole.
It can serve you: Unesco
Examples of cultural heritage
Some possible examples of cultural heritage of different countries are:
- The Eiffel Tower, built in Paris, France, in 1889, as an example of innovations in engineering and materials typical of the recent industrial era.
- The Chichen-Itza, are the ruins of a city or ceremonial center of the ancient Mayan culture, located in the Mexican peninsula of Yucatan.
- The Carnivals of Humahuaca, held in the Quebrada de Humahuaca in northern Argentina, containing reminiscences of Spanish and indigenous culture, as well as the history of the region near Bolivia and Peru.
- The University City of Caracas, the main campus of the Central University of Venezuela and an architectural work of South American modernity, fruit of the Venezuelan genius Carlos Raúl Villanueva, and endowed with murals and sculptures by artists such as Jean Arp, Fernand Léger, Victor Vasarely and Mateo Manaure.
- The traditional Christmas births of Krakow, known in Poland as szopkas, are lightweight models of Christmas nativity scenes whose confection dates from the 19th century.
Cultural heritage and natural heritage
Unesco differentiates in its precepts between two types of human heritage: cultural and natural.
Cultural heritage is one that comes from human history, that is, it is a memory or a remnant of ancestral activities and practices, inherited as a reminder or a symbol to the new generations. It is, therefore, heritage manufactured by humanity itself, such as a statue, an architectural work or a set of dances.
On the other hand, natural heritage refers to places, living beings or other significant elements of nature that, over time, have captivated the human being with its beauty. They are reminders of the alien forces that shape our planet.
The natural heritage is received by mankind without it participating in its preparation. It can be a particularly high water fall, an enormously biodiverse jungle or a paradise island of unique animal species in the world.
More in: Natural landscape
Material and intangible cultural heritage
Likewise, it usually distinguishes between two primary types of cultural heritage, which are:
- Material or tangible cultural heritage . One that can be touched, which is concrete and physical, such as statues, architectural works, costumes, pieces of equipment, etc., whether or not they can move from one place to another.
- Intangible or intangible cultural heritage . The one that, on the contrary, cannot be held or displaced, since it does not consist of physical objects, but rather verbal, musical or imaginary, oral or social practices, such as songs, verses, dances or choreography. ace.
Cultural heritage of Mexico
The particular case of the cultural heritage of Mexico is quite fruitful and diverse. It is the product of the different historical periods of this nation, which date back to pre-Columbian antiquity, with its leafy and particular cultures such as the Mayans, Olmecs, Aztecs and others.
Its cultural heritage also comes from the time of the colony, with its society controlled from the metropolis and bound to Christianity. The most recent examples come from the independent era, especially the revolutionary memory of the early twentieth century.
Many of the icons and traditions of this set are consumed globally as exotic or flashy objects, or as archaeological evidence that powers important anthropological investigations.
In broad strokes, in the Mexican cultural heritage we can find:
- Pieces, decorations and architectural ruins from native Mesoamerican cultures.
- Pre-Columbian languages surviving the imposition of Spanish in the colonial era, as well as the imaginary associated with them (stories, songs, dances, etc.).
- Practices inherited from syncretic (mestizo) or particular catholic devotion of the various Mexican regions.
- The Mariachi and its forms of singing and interpretation, both in its traditional and modern variant.
- Culinary and gastronomic practices unique to the Mexican region, recognizable throughout the world.
- The celebration of the day of the dead, a set of indigenous parties assimilated with the Christian imaginary that attract the attention of the entire world.
Continue with: Tradition