Tangible and Intangible Heritage
Cultural Historic Heritage can be defined as a material, natural or immovable asset that has an artistic, cultural, religious, documental or esthetic meaning and importance to the society. In Brazil, the National Institute for Historic and Artistic Heritage (Iphan) keeps record of buildings certified as historic structures, urban centers and condominiums, archeological sites, over one million items, including a museological collection, a thousand bibliographic volumes, archival documentation and photographic, cinematographic and videographic records, in addition to the Worldwide Heritage.
The Iphan classifies the Cultural Heritage into two groups: Tangible and Intangible. Intangible heritage (content in portuguese) is the one whose practices, representations, expressions, information and techniques, instruments, items, artifacts, and sites are recognized by the communities as an important part of their cultural heritage.
It is passed on from generation to generation, and it is constantly recreated by communities based on their environment, interaction with nature and history. This process generates a feeling of identity and continuity. The Brazilian list of intangible assets includes the feasts Círio de Nossa Senhora de Nazaré, Feira de Caruaru, Frevo (Dance), Capoeira (Martial Art), the handicraft form of preparing the Minas Cheese, and the Samba Centers in Rio de Janeiro.
Tangible Heritage (content in portuguese) is comprised of a combination of cultural assets classified according to their nature in the four Books of Certified Historic Structures: historic, fine arts, applied arts and archeology, landscape and ethnography. They are divided into immovable assets - urban centers, archeological and landscapes sites, and individual assets - movable assets - archeological collections, museological, documental, bibliographic, archival, videographic, photographic and cinematographic collections.
The material assets include the architectural combinations of historic cities such as Ouro Preto (MG), Paraty (RJ), Olinda (PE) and São Luís (MA), landscapes such as Lençóis (BA), Serra do Curral (Belo Horizonte - MG), Grutas do Lago Azul and Nossa Senhora Aparecida (Bonito - MS) and the Corcovado (Rio de Janeiro - RJ).
Sources: (contents in portuguese)
The Brazilian National Historical and Artistical Heritage Institute (Iphan)