Iranian Polo game, Chogan, a traditional horse-riding game, along with art of crafting and playing with Kamancheh, a bowed string musical instrument, was added to the list of Intangible Heritage in Intergovernmental-Committee for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in the 12th session of the committee held in South Korea, December 4-9, 2017.
The dossier for Chogan submitted to UNESCO on March 31, 2016. Chovgan, a traditional game in Azerbaijan, was listed in 2013 but after Iran’s protest, the committee accepted to keep Chovgan on the list and open a new case for Chogan.
Chogan, mostly played by kings, was known as Kings’ Sport. The sport, first used as a means of showing the power of horses, now is played in more than 70 countries and was once an Olympic game, from 1900 to 1939.
Kamancheh has been jointly filed with Azerbaijan as Mohammad Hassan Talebian, the deputy head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization said a country is allowed to submit one dossier each two years and also the joint files are more important to UNESCO!
The use of this musical instrument dates back to 950 A.D. Kamancheh, one of the most important musical instrument of Qajar and Safavid Era, had been played in Iran, India, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, and Dagestan for years!