Irrigators' tribunals of the Spanish Mediterranean coast: the Council of Wise Men of the Plain of Murcia and the Water Tribunal of the Plain of Valencia
Both tribunals were awarded the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity designation in 2009 because they are legal water management institutions introduced by tradition and which are still used today, since the times of Al-Andalus (9th - 13th centuries)
Both tribunals are still valid and can be discovered in person. The first one takes place every Thursday at 10 am in the Salón Real (Royal Hall) of Murcia Town Hall. The second one takes place every Thursday at midday in the Puerta de los Apóstoles door of Valencia Cathedral.
These tribunals contribute significantly to the cohesion of the irrigators' communities and pass on orally the knowledge that comes from secular cultural exchanges. They also have their own specialised vocabulary and many terms that come from Arabic. Its main function is legal but it also has a very important symbolic meaning, as shown with the rituals with which they pronounce their decisions and the frequent presence of local iconography.
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