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Güegüense declared Patrimony of Humanity | Nov 25, 2005

Further Reading

Today, Friday, November 25, the theatrical piece "El Güegüense o Macho Ratón" was declared Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO, according to international news reports.

The work, written by an anonymous author in the 16th century in Spanish and Náhuatl, features people from the colonial times in Nicaragua. In the play, indigenous and Spanish elements are mixed, both for the music and the characters.

The name of the play comes from the main character, the "Güegüense", which is derived from the náhuatl word "huehue" which means "Old Man". The Güegüense takes advantages of his keenness to cheat, ridicule, and surpass the obtrusions of the characters representing the Spanish colonial rulers.

For the UNESCO, according to international reports, the Güegüense was "an energetic expression of the protests against colonialism". One of the most important aspects to include this theatrical piece in the list of Patrimony of Humanity was the presence of peaceful resistance by indigenous groups to the obtrusion of authority and culture by the Spanish.

In the year 2000 the UNESCO declared the ruins of León Viejo in Nicaragua as a world heritage site. At this moment, the cathedral of León is also on a waiting list at UNESCO, and the Nicaraguan people that this will also be proclaimed world heritage in the future.