Heirs to state-level intangible cultural heritage (ICH) items will receive an annual work allowance of 8,000 yuan (about 1,160 U.S. dollars) from the central government starting this year, the Ministry of Culture has announced.
The subsidy is intended to support folk arts, crafts and rituals, many of which are in danger of dying out as the number of those who know them dwindles.
The ministry has made public, so far, the names of 777 heirs to 1,028 ICHs labeled state-level, according to the People's Daily. These heritage items include legends of the Great Wall and the Eight Immortals, regional and ethnic folk songs and dances, local operas and sports.
Successors in Sichuan, Shanxi and Gansu provinces, which were hit hard by the May 12 earthquake, will get higher allowances.
(Xinhua News Agency November 18, 2008)