Cambodian martial art added to World Heritage List
Unesco has officially added the Cambodian martial art “Kun Lbokator”, more commonly referred to as “Bokator”, to its World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona.
The minister updated Prime Minister Hun Sen about the decision by Unesco Tuesday night and he subsequently made her report public. Phoeurng Sackona’s report says that the decision to inscribe “Kun Lbokator” on the list was made during the 17th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Rabat, Morocco, on Tuesday.
The inscription, made at 10:31pm Cambodian time, is for the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Bokator is a martial art that was created by the ancient Khmer people to defend themselves. The term “Bokator” is derived from the words “bok”, meaning “to pound”, and “tao”, which refers to a lion.
Historical evidence of early Bokator techniques can be seen carved on the walls of ancient temples. Many examples can be found at the 7th-century Sambor Prei Kuk temple complex. Later, in the 11th-century Angkorian period, many movements of Bokator martial arts were carved on the walls of temples, especially Angkor Wat.
Cambodia prepared documents to apply for the inclusion of Bokator as a Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2008. The application was changed in 2017 to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The third application was made in 2019, but due to the pandemic, the documentation was delayed until 2021.
The Phnom Penh Post
Asia News Network