The Uzbek atlas is recognized as an intangible cultural heritage
The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage meeting decided to include Margilan Crafts Development Centre, safeguarding of the atlas and adras making traditional technologies to the list.
Margilan was the centre for making atlas and adras – vivid and fine traditional fabrics. Traditional crafts went through turbulent times during the Soviet period, jeopardizing some ancient handmade production technologies. Due to the acute need to revive and safeguard traditions at risk of disappearing, the local community came up with an initiative to launch the Crafts Development Centre (CDC) in 2007.
The CDC’s goal is to safeguard, develop and promote the method of Uzbek traditional atlas and adras making through innovative training sessions, exhibitions and craft fairs, traditional textile festivals, and the publication of safeguarding materials and manuals. The CDC also promotes the use of natural materials, and supports the transmission of knowledge and skills about nature and the universe and their role in ensuring people’s health and wellbeing.
The CDC’s success stems from its focus on a spirit of partnership, and the local communities play a key role in its initiatives since there is a common understanding that atlas and adras fabrics are central to their identity.
The Festival of Traditional Textiles “Atlas Bayrami” (Atlas Festival) takes place in Margilan each year.