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Long shepherd's pipe – “FUJARA“ – the Gem of UNESCO

FujaraLong shepherd's pipe is solo folk woodwind musical instrument. It comes from central Slovakia – Podpoľanie region. It has the unique place in Slovak folk instrumentation and it is the queen between folk musical instruments in Slovakia.
Long  shepherd's pipe is a wooden flute with three holes reaching a length of about 180 cm. It is produced of dry wood, especially elder, as well as maple, ash or locust.
In the past, it was the musical instrument of shepherds who played it while they were away in the mountains for a long time. They meditated about their feelings and desires with it. Its velvety melancholy voice is able to express Podpoľanie human soul, but also soothe grazing sheep perfectly.

Long shepherd's pipe
Photo: K. Melichová

As with any musical instrument quality of long shepherd's pipe is evaluated mainly by its sound but its artistic side is also remarkable. Some long shepherd's pipes are simple, without decoration, other with ornamental decoration covering the entire surface of long shepherd's pipe. The ornament contours are cut in wood and colorfully decorated with nitric acid, rarer way of decorating is deep notch cut or discharging narrow strips of thin brass sheet ornaments. In the past every maker was using his own ornaments and manufacturing process. Every long shepherd's pipe is original unique work.
At the beginning of the 60th  last century the shepherd's pipe was on the decline. Folklore Festival underneath Poľana in Detva helped to preserve it, keep it and helped also in the extension of its production. Within Folklore Festival underneath Poľana in Detva there is also organized specialized competition for makers of musical instruments which is called INSTRUMENTUM EXCELLENS and cycle of events dedicated to long shepherd's pipe - fujara and its music. Folklore Festival underneath Poľana in Detva also gradually
collected works of contemporary musical instruments producers to build a permanent exhibition, which will be established in Detva.
One of the doyens of Slovak long shepherd's pipe - fujara players is deceased Joseph Rybár from Detva, who is best known long shepherd's pipe - fujara players from Detva.
Long shepherd's pipe - fujara is now often used in meditative music because of its soft and soothing tone.

Long shepherd's pipe on the list of UNESCO
On 25th November 2005 was “Long shepherd's pipe - fujara, musical instrument and its music" recorded on the list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
It is the second entry recorded in UNESCO from Podpoľanie  Region. The second one is in the world List of natural values and it is Biosphere Reserve Poľana.

Made up by: PhDr. Anna Ostrihoňová
Translated by: Mgr. Bohuslav Ilavský

Informations:  Tourist office in Detva
Address:         M. R. Štefánika 3214/2E, 962 12 Detva
                         (Next to LIDL supermarket, 1st floor)
Tel. No:           +421 045 5459087
Fax:                 +421 045 5459091



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