Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage
The craft of rafting involves the transport of wood by waterway from areas rich in woodland to those in which it is scarcer. In the past rafting in Germany played an outstanding role in the meeting of the huge demand for wood in all walks of life within society.
Facts & figures
Crucial date: all seasons
Domains: social practices, rituals and festive events; knowledge and practice concerning nature and the universe; traditional craftsmanship
Where to find: nationwide (also abroad)
Craftsmanship and labour of the rafters decisively stamped the reality of the lives of many people. From the Middle Ages until the second half of the 20th Century rafting was practised commercially in Germany.
The techniques were passed on over many generations in some families. Since the end of commercial rafting, touristic rafting is today becoming increasingly widespread. By way of rafting festivals and raft journeys the knowledge of this age-old craft is kept alive in the public memory.
Members of rafting associations impart rafting as a part of the cultural heritage of the region, for example during project days and weeks at schools and nurseries. During the educational activities, children and adolescents but also older persons are informed about the significance of the raw material wood and its availability in the past and the present.