The concept of cultural property is often discussed in the sphere of international policy with a critical
dimension of neglected rights of local actors. This paper deals with local strategies of labelling a
tradition as cultural property of a specific community by reconstructing the historical dimension
of a local property regime. Cultural property is thus analysed as a cultural technique at its own
right that produces powerful local hierarchies and that refers to both material and symbolic dimensions.
The carnival of Binche with its long history of metacultural operations shows how tradition
is used as a local resource in a reflexive society and how local actors integrate new legal instruments
into their understanding and management of a traditional practice.
Keywords: cultural property, intangible heritage, tradition, usage rights, property as strategy