25 October 2006

craft research

craft research
A remark by one of the delegates at the houston conference intrigued me. She was referring to Norman Kennedy a weaver/spinner origionally from Aberdeen, now living in the USA, http://www.nea.gov/honors/heritage/Heritage03/Kennedy.html and said, 'Of course he is a National Treasure now.' I wasn't aware that America, like Japan, had living 'National Treasures'. Isn't it wonderful that a Scottish Craftsperson is an American National Treasure!

"Japan’s living national treasuresScholars have long recognized the intangibility of culture. In the 18th and 19th centuries philologists, folklorists and others tried to document the world’s oral traditions. Yet the term “intangible cultural heritage” is relatively recent. In 1950, Japan initiated a living national treasures programme to recognize the great skills of masters of the traditional arts.Similar programmes began in Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, the United States and France. Intangible heritage is seen as an asset or resource to be protected, appreciated, utilized and managed–an idea traceable back to the Meiji period". http://www.unesco.org/courier/2001_09/uk/culture.htm
Does the UK honour people like this? Especially in the area of 'great skill in the traditional arts'? One would presume that craftspeople would be among these honoured people???

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