Falconry in the UAE

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Introduction The quantities of intangible cultural elements and forms that are mutual and shared by a wide variety of national communities are diverse (Mazrouei, 2010, p. 1). Many communities in the past found and continue to find themselves sharing similar cultural forms with their neighbors as well as with others miles away. History informs that there were many human processes and forces that justify the shared cultural unities. These forces include independent inventions, parallel inventions and evolution, and psychic unity of humanity (Khalaf, 2009, p. 308). Human relation with animals and birds is one of the examples that reinforce this anthropological assertion. Falconry rightfully fits in this anthropology statement. Falconry is practiced in more than sixty countries globally. These countries share among them similar practices, principles, and significances of falconry. This is despite the fact that it has attained some geographical cultural distinctions. There have been assertions by different schools of thought that falconry emerged as a need for survival in early ages. On the other hand, some quarters argue that falconry emerged as a form of leisure. Further, there have been arguments as to the true historical position of falconry in terms of tradition and culture. This paper seeks to explore the diverse aspects of falconry to establish if falconry in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a true tradition or it was invented. This will be investigated in terms of comparing falconry to the camel racing on the basis of Eric Hobsbawm’s theory “Invented Traditions”. History of Falconry The sport of hawking commonly referred to as falconry gained extensive reputation and undeniable sovereignty as a noble leisure activity durin... ... middle of paper ... ... as a world intangible heritage, and UAE’s efforts to enhance international cooperation for promoting falconry. International Forum on Intangible Cultural Heritage in East Asia, 1(2), 308-318. Mazrouei, K. (2010a). Culture: The embodiment of civilization. Retrieved from http://www.uaeinteract.com/docs/UAE_hailed_for_its_role_in_inscribing_falconry_with_UNESCO_Intangible_Heritage_of_Humanity/43442.htm Tutton, M. (2010). Inside Abu Dhabi’s state-of-the-art falcon hospital. Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/06/10/falcon.hospital.uae/ Vesley, M. (2008). Falconry comes into its own. The Middle East, 1(1), 58-59. Wakefield, S. (2012). Falconry as heritage in the United Arab Emirates. World Archaeology, 44(2), 280-290. Wood, J. (2005). Talking sport or talking balls? Realizing the value of sports heritage. Industrial Archaeology Review, 27(1), 137–144.

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