UNESCO and Kūṭiyāṭṭam: The impact of the program »Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity« on India’s traditional Sanskrit theatre (Dr. Heike Moser)

Sub-project of B14: "Religion on Stage: Traditional South Asian Performances in New Public Spheres and Media", Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", Heidelberg University

Dr. Heike MOSER was working from 2008-12/2011 as affiliated research fellow of the Cluster of Execllence "Asia and Europe in a Global Contect" (Heidelberg) on the impact of the UNESCO-program “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” on the religious performances that have received this award. The program was introduced in the year 2001. Moser’s main subject, the Sanskrit theatre Kūṭiyāṭṭam of Kerala / South India, was awarded in the first batch. Moser works on how the UNESCO defines a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” and how it selects a specific tradition to be part of the program. Further, she analyzes the impact of this scheme on traditions like Kūṭiyāṭṭam. She will study how the program is accepted among performers and how the scheme influences these traditions as art-forms and as rituals. Being a Kutiyattam actress herself since 1995, she has the unique chance to have a deep insight into the process, starting from the time of application itself.


Moser, Heike (Hg). 2011. Kutiyattam: 10 Years after the UNESCO-Declaration. Chennai: National Folklore Support Centre (Indian Folklife 38).
open access journal: