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