Advertisement

The Tyranny of Materiality: Sacred Landscapes, Tourism and Community Narratives

  • Ashton Sinamai
Chapter

Abstract

Monumentality is the cornerstone of modern tourism. It specifically depends on the physical heritage, but people’s conception of cultural landscapes is usually very abstract and non-physical. These experiences can include narratives of place used to map spaces cosmologically. In Africa, the focus on materiality alienates communities from their heritage and creates conflicts between the heritage managers and stakeholder communities. Using Great Zimbabwe, this chapter shows that monumentality is not the cornerstone of memory, nor is it the only way to understand a cultural landscape. Great Zimbabwe’s designation as a ‘site’ relegates community concerns and promotes political and tourist needs. Focusing on the visual does not assist heritage managers in preserving a landscape that is also sacred. Sacredness is preserved through the respect of the community’s interpretations of the landscape as well as the soundscapes that they associate with the place. Managing such sacred landscapes as ‘archaeological sites’ eliminates the sentient nature of the place.

Keywords

Monumentality Great Zimbabwe Narratives Archaeological parks Sacred landscapes 

Notes

Acknowledgement

The research leading to these results has received funding from the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 under REA grant No. 661210 (METAPHOR).

References

  1. Da Silva, V. (2008). The archaeology of intangible heritage. New York: Peter Lang Publishers. S.F.Google Scholar
  2. Eder, D. (2010). Life lessons through storytelling: Children’s exploration of ethics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and self-identity: Self and society in the late modern age. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  4. Harley, J. B. (1988). Maps knowledge and power. In D. Cosgrove & S. Daniels (Eds.), The iconography of landscape (pp. 277–312). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Joseph, C. A., & Kavoori, A. P. (2001). Mediated resistance: Tourism and the host community. Annals of Tourism Reseach, 28(4), 998–1009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kaufmann, N. (2013). Putting intangible heritage in Its place(s): Proposal for policy and practice. International Journal of Intangible Heritage, 8, 19–26.Google Scholar
  7. Martin, J. (2011). Genius of place: The life of Frederick Law Olmsted. Abolitionist, conservationist and designer of Central Park. Cambridge, MA: Merloyd Lawrence Books.Google Scholar
  8. Mountford, C. P. (1965). Ayers rock. Its people their beliefs and their art. Sydney: Angus and Robertson.Google Scholar
  9. Ndoro, W. (2005). The preservation of great Zimbabwe: Your monument our shrine. Rome: ICCROM.Google Scholar
  10. Sinamai, A. (2014). An un-inherited past: Preserving the Khami world heritage site, Zimbabwe. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Deakin University.Google Scholar
  11. Sinamai, A. (2015). Understanding metaphors in sustaining cultural landscapes within traditional societies in Australia and Zimbabwe. Archaeological Review from Cambridge, 30(2), 17–27.Google Scholar
  12. Sinamai, A. (2017). Melodies of God: The significance of the soundscape in conserving the Great Zimbabwe landscape. Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage, doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/20518196.2017.1323823
  13. Spirn, A. W. (1998). The language of landscape. New Haven/London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Urry, J. (1990). The tourist gaze: Leisure and travel in contemporary societies. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  15. Waterton, E., & Watson, S. (2014). The semiotics of heritage tourism. Ontario: Chanel View Publication.Google Scholar

Web Resources

  1. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/364Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Humanities, Arts and Social SciencesFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations