The Intangible Cultural Heritage of Spain – new stamps issue unveiled

July 25th, 2015 would like to introduce new stamps introduced by Spanish Post. This issue's themes of Silbo Gomero language and the Mediterranean Diet both appear on the Intangible Cultural Heritage list. This list includes things that, due to their ethnographic and cultural uniqueness, need to be protected to ensure their existence for future generations. The items have been already revealed and are to be put into circulation on the 27th of July.

The Silbo Gomero language, from La Gomera (Canary Islands), is the only fully-developed whistled language in the world and is practised by a large community of individuals. Its technique, which is somewhat complex, involves reproducing spoken language with whistles, in a way that vowels and consonants are replaced with different whistles that can be distinguished by tone, pitch and continuity.

Historically, this was useful for communicating across the island's deep ravines and it has been taught through the generations. In 1999, to prevent the language from becoming extinct, the Canary Islands Government incorporated it into its school curriculum. In 2009, UNESCO added Silbo Gomero to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The stamp features the work of the French painter Bernard Romain (Roanne, 1944). It uses Augmented Reality (AR) which plays the whistled phrase: "Stamp issue dedicated by the Correos Post Office to Silbo Gomero, Intangible Cultural Heritage".
The Mediterranean Diet reflects a lifestyle that encompasses a set of knowledge, practices and traditions that are related to crops, harvests, culinary recipes, and celebrations and meals shared with family and society. It is not a dietary plan, but rather a diet that involves a factor of social cohesion and respect for diversity.

It was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2010, as part of a collective designation that includes Spain, Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Morocco and Portugal. The diet is based mainly on the consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and olive oil, all of which can be found in the Mediterranean area.

The stamp makes reference to these products and includes an embossed drop of olive oil printed with varnish, simulating its texture and oleaginous appearance.

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