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Journal of African Cultural Heritage Studies
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2513-8243
Published by White Rose University Press Homepage  [4 journals]
  • Local Stakeholder Perspectives on Mining Development in the Mount Mulanje
           Cultural Landscape, Malawi

    • Abstract: Extraction of mineral resources in most African cultural landscapes is threatening the proper conservation and management of the cultural and natural attributes and values of these landscapes. This paper has discussed the perception of stakeholders on issues concerning the extraction of mineral resources and the management of cultural landscapes. The focus has been on understanding how local stakeholders perceive issues of mining and heritage conservation in African cultural landscapes. A participatory ethnographic research was carried out among local stakeholders in Mulanje Mountain cultural landscape in Malawi. The purpose was to solicit stakeholder views and perceptions in order to properly plan the effective use and management of cultural landscapes. Specific issues which have been investigated included an examination of levels of awareness on issues concerning the protection of cultural landscapes which are at risk of mining development and also on how local people get involved in decision-making. Further to this, relevant stakeholders were identified and their roles in the conservation and management of different aspects of cultural landscapes were discussed. It has been revealed that stakeholder identification is a key before implementing any development project in cultural landscapes. Determining who will be a stakeholder representative is very important when planning for mining development initiatives in cultural landscapes. The study has concluded that most of the local people and other stakeholders who participated in the research are aware of the importance of the cultural landscape in its totality and the various cultural and natural features within it. Published on 2019-05-18 00:00:00
  • Unlayering the Intangible: Post-Truth in the Post Rainbow Nation

    • Abstract: In KwaZulu-Natal, a province of South Africa, intangible heritage has been a component of provincial legislation since 1997. The promulgation of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Heritage Resources Act that year recognized intangible heritage as mainstream. Indeed, whilst KwaZulu-Natal, and the country as a whole was at the forefront of including intangible heritage as a key component of legislation, its complex demographics have celebrated aspects of the intangible for many years. This paper will begin by discussing the intangible heritages of the province in general before examining its multiple facets, including site and landscape, in the interpretation of provincial heritage. Amongst other contextual information, such as contemporary celebration of grave sites, and sites of greater Zulu nationalism, it will examine the sites and practices of religious groups such as the Zulu-based Shembe. These serve to reinforce that intangible heritage is not merely the mothballing of memory, but contemporary, dynamic, and an agent of change, rather than a static concept clutched in the grasp of western thought. It will conclude by suggesting that intangible heritage is a process of authenticity. Further, the authentic is a simultaneous and immutable product of the action, the tradition, the interpretation and the immaterial, rather than a static repetition of a logical and constructed constant which views, digests and describes a system or ritual in order to understand it. Published on 2019-03-13 00:00:00
  • The rock-hewn church of Nazugn Maryam: an example of the endangered
           antiquities of North Wallo, Ethiopia.

    • Abstract: Most of the rock hewn and cave churches of Ethiopia to the west and south of Lalibela have escaped the notices of scholars who in different times visited the rock hewn churches of Lalibela and its surroundings. Nazugn Maryam, one of the ancient rock hewn churches of this area is neither scholarly researched nor professionally conserved. The main objective of this study was to document the architecture and the conservation problems of this hypogeum. Data of the study was collected through interview, field observation and analysis of the archives. The study intimates that the church is traditionally believed to have been carved by Abunä Musé, who is regarded as the second bishop of Ethiopia. Being carved out of a single rock, it is rectangular and monolithic. Pointed and arched styles of both opened and false windows, buttresses, and horizontal beam are some of the dominant architectures of the church projected on its exterior facades. Internally it has a basilica with aisles divided by pillars, with no arches and capitals. However, its architectural values are deteriorating due to natural agents such as torrential summer rainfall and sunlight. Besides, the elements attempt at conservation since 1950s have also contributed to its deterioration. New materials like cement and basaltic stone were introduced during the restoration and this has exacerbated its deterioration endangering this important hypogeum. This paper examines how this introduction of new material poses challenges to the future conservation decisions. Published on 2018-11-04 00:00:00
  • The Evolution and Resilience of the Gusii Soapstone Industry

    • Abstract: The Gusii soapstone industry is one of the oldest traditional craft industry in Kenya. The history of the industry dates back to hundreds and perhaps thousands of years ago (Ongesa, 2011). Initially made as traditional handicraft products for local use, the soapstone products have been transformed into tourist items that are sold to both domestic and international tourists who visit Kenya and are sold in handcraft shops all over the world. The aim of this paper is twofold: first, to provide an historical analysis on the transformation of these soapstone products from items that had mainly utility value to handicraft attractions that are sold to tourists; second, to examine the role of the industry in promoting sustainable livelihood among the people of Tabaka area of Kisii county. Data for this paper was acquired through in-depth conversational interview schedules with selected soapstone producers and sellers, structured conversation with key informants and field observations. The research also provides recommendations that can guide policy formation for the sustainable development of the soapstone industry in Kenya. Published on 2018-08-14 00:00:00
  • Protecting architectural heritage in Djenné: a civil society point of

    • Abstract:  The "Old Towns of Djenné" were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988. However, in 2016, this urban landscape was included in the List of World Heritage in Danger. The paper aims to examine the neglect that led to this listing by identifying the actors involved in the protection of the town's unique architecture, describing their constraints and interventions, and demonstrating their persistent inability to define a common strategy. We show how most international and national interventions in the past two decades have ignored the restrictions and commitments imposed by the World Heritage status of the town. A striking feature is the lack of awareness and the progressive loss of knowledge, among decision-makers at local and national level, as well as among external aid funding managers, of the value of the cultural heritage that Djenné architecture represents; and among the professionals (Malian architects and local masons), of the technical know-how needed to maintain this architecture. The paper addresses the need for concerted efforts to educate and sensitize various actors in the conservation of Djenne’s architecture to enable them to contribute effectively to political and technical decisions regarding the protection of this heritage.
        Published on 2018-02-28 00:00:00
  • The Performance of International Diplomacy at Kigali Memorial Centre,

    • Abstract: Every year in Rwanda, a week of national mourning commemorates the Genocide of Tutsi, a brutal episode that began on April the 7th 1994 and resulted in the murder of up to one million people in 100 days. The genocide was returned to the global stage in 2014 when world leaders joined Rwandans in marking the twentieth anniversary of this event. In Kigali, the capital city, two decades of political elites witnessed highly emotive and politically charged performances of the causes and events of the genocide that placed responsibility for this tragedy at the feet of the international community. By positioning themselves within the frame of this nationally and globally televised event, many world leaders acknowledged both a great human tragedy and the failure of their respective nations and organisations to recognise and stop the genocide. This collective international act of apology was the culmination of a decade of individual actual or implicit ‘apologies’ by political leaders such as Tony Blair, Nicholas Sarkozy, George Bush Jnr, and Ban Ki Moon. This paper explores the performative use of the Kigali Genocide Memorial by national and political actors engaged in diplomatic acts that aim to generate national post-conflict development and international cultural capital. Published on 2017-10-27 00:00:00
  • Editorial

    • Abstract: Published on 2017-06-02 00:00:00
  • Memory, Identity and Heritage in the south Kenya Coast: Case of Shimoni
           Slave caves

    • Abstract: Though slavery was practised in the Kenya coast for a long time, the subject of slavery has,however, been an anathema in Kenya. Nobody has been willing to talk about it or its effects.Slowly, however, things have started to change and now people, especially those thought to be descendants of slaves or slave traders have started to talk about it. This paper, using the
      Shimoni slave caves on the south Kenya coast, examines what is being remembered and how these memories are being used to construct relationships not only within and between the communities of these areas but with the wider Kenyan nation. Published on 2017-06-02 00:00:00
  • Theorising the Majimaji – Landscape, Memory and Agency

    • Abstract: The Majimaji was a war of resistance against German colonial rule in Tanzania which occurred between 1905 and 1907. The war is largely known from historical sources which include the German observers of the war, African historians and Africanist historians. Very few archaeological researches inform the Majimaji war. Although the materiality of the war exists, the landscape and memories of the war create a potential database for archaeologists.
      This paper theorizes the Majimaji war from landscape, memory and agency perspectives. In a broad sense, the paper delineates concepts that define conflicts and the landscape of conflict; agency as a broad theoretical framework on which the paper is grounded; and the processes of memory, memorialization and the creation of the war memorials. Published on 2017-06-02 00:00:00
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