1st Edition

Community-based Heritage in Africa Unveiling Local Research and Development Initiatives

By Peter R. Schmidt Copyright 2017
    288 Pages
    by Routledge

    288 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume provides a powerful alternative to the Western paradigms that have governed archaeological inquiry and heritage studies in Africa. Community-based Heritage Research in Africa boldly shifts focus away from top-down community engagements, usually instigated by elite academic and heritage institutions, to examine locally initiated projects.  Schmidt explores how and why local research initiatives, which are often motivated by rapid culture change caused by globalization, arose among the Haya people of western Tanzania. In particular, the trauma of HIV/AIDS resulted in the loss of elders who had performed oral traditions and rituals at sacred places, the two most recognized forms of heritage among the Haya as well as distinct alternatives to the authorized heritage discourse favored around the globe.

    Examining three local initiatives, Schmidt draws on his experience as an anthropologist invited to collaborate and co-produce with the Haya to provide a poignant rendering of the successes, conflicts, and failures that punctuated their participatory community research efforts. This frank appraisal privileges local voices and focuses attention on the unique and important contributions that such projects can make to the preservation of regional history. Through this blend of personalized narrative and analytical examination, the book provides fresh insights into African archaeology and heritage studies.

    Part I: Backdrop to Heritage Meanings
    1: Prelude to the Unexpected
    2: Setting, Place, and Heritage

    Part II: A Biography of a Local Heritage Initiative
    3: Disorientation and Recuperation: Relearning Heritage in  Katuruka Village
    4: Grassroots Heritage Work in Action
    5: Spitting Pearls: Agendas for Community Research and Heritage Performance are Realized
    6: Euphoria, Cargo Cult Expectations, and Hard Reality
    7: Commentary: Fitting Buhaya into Global Perspectives

    Part III: Community Research Findings
    8: HIV/AIDS, The Living, and Memory
    9: Intangible Heritage: Hope Lost over Erased Ethical Values
    10: Commentary: Reflections on Human Rights, Senses of Place, and Heritage
    11: Heritage Lost, Heritage Regained
    12: Androcentric Perspectives, Subaltern Conundrums, and  Learning from Snakes
    13: Njeru, the "White Sheep" and her Snake.                                                              
    With Eudes Bambanza and Zuriat Mohamed

    Part IV: Reflections on the Katuruka Initiative
    14: Progress while Negotiating Potholes
    15: Harm by Greed: "Negotiating" Heritage Rights and Land Use
    16: The Future of Katuruka: Is there Hope?

    Part V: Spreading to other Communities and Concluding Thoughts
    17: Heritage Ephemeral, Heritage Hidden, and Heritage Revealed at Kanazi Palace
    18: Kanazi Palace, King Kahigi II, and Ethical Conundrums in Community Heritage Work
    19: The “Cave of the Dead”: Genocide, Forgotten Heritage, and Education
    20: Reflections and Connections


    Peter R. Schmidt is Professor of Anthropology and African Studies at the University of Florida, USA, as well as Extraordinary Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.