Naqqali is the most ancient form of dramatic performance in Iran and has long played a significant role in society. The performer – then Naqqal – recounts stories in verse or prose accompanied by gestures, movements, and sometimes instrumental music and painted scrolls, mostly from Shahnameh.
Darvish Mahmoud Madah, the first living bearer of the intangible heritage of the Naqqali tradition, painted scrolls narrator in Isfahan province, died of heart disease.
According to ISNA, Mohammad Hassan Talebian, Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage, confirmed the death of this master of painted scrolls narrator and Naqqali, saying: Master Darvish Mahmoud Maddah and his brother Master Darvish Ali were among the first living bearers of the intangible cultural heritage of Isfahan province in March 2017 at the same time with the national registration of painted scrolls.
He added: The late Master Darwish Mahmoud Madah and his brother, by studying under the supervisory of their fathers and grandfathers, such as Darvish Khodabakhsh, Darvish Hossein Ali, and Darvish Yadollah spent their prolific life in expressive and melodic expression in preserving the art of Naqqali and narration of religious events. Especially the event of Ashura.
In a message of condolence, Talebian expressed his heavy heart for the death of Darvish Mahmoud Madah and reminded: The bearers of intangible cultural heritage are artists and living holders of traditions such as Naqqali. Cultural and spiritual heritage and those who create or preserve these living treasures is a step to save their traditional culture and should be well known and praised.
The tortuous path of the history of this ancient land has been transmitted from one generation to the next.
The ancient treasures that carry with them the experiences inherited from their predecessors and the addition of their own treasures of traditional art, culture, and knowledge, are in fact the bearers of intangible heritage and living human heritage.