Interpretation: Dealing with Multiple Identities

  • Susan Osireditse Keitumetse
Chapter

Abstract

The need for sustainable interpretation of cultural and heritage resources is heightening due to the resources’ growing use in socio-political as well as socio-economic forums. Contestations for the resources are bound to surface in situations where multiple identities belonging to multiple stakeholders from multiple historical frameworks exist. Balanced interpretation therefore becomes important. Interpretation can be approached from both a scholarly perspective and a management perspective – the former when knowledge production is a target and the latter when knowledge packaging is the main focus. Preceding chapters of this book have illustrated some conservation and management dichotomies that already exhibit multiple identities. These include amongst others the nature-nurture divide in Chap. 1, tangible-intangible dichotomy in Chaps. 1 and 2, African-European in this chapter and governor-governed in Chap. 3. To illuminate on approaches to interpretation, this chapter uses a site imbued with multiple cultural meanings and values and brings out potential issues to discuss and critique in search of sustainable interpretation. The ‘Livingstone Memorial’ site in Botswana is a landscape constituting of local (native) and foreign (missionary) components of heritage, therefore conflated with multiple cultural meanings. The case study characteristics invoke questions such as: Whose heritage? Selected by whom? The name of the site denotes a singular identity brand, but the chapter analysis will show that other identities exist and even go beyond historical stativity of missionary brand as they extend to current descendants of natives that shared the site with the missionary. In Africa, sites denoting David Livingstone’s heritage are found in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar, RSA, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Keywords

Multiple identities Historical dichotomies Sustainable interpretation Cultural equity ICOMOS Charter Public heritage David Livingstone sites Southern Africa 

Further Reading (Bibliography)

Archival documents from Botswana National Archives (BNA)

  1. The following format is used to cite BNA documents:Google Scholar
  2. //Botswana National Archives (BNA), File number, year, title, city, publisher//Google Scholar
  3. BNA File S 175/2/1. 1949–51. Ruins: Preservation of in Bechuanaland. Mafikeng: Secretariat department contains the following documents cited in the text:Google Scholar
  4. - “Plaque Marks Old Home of Explorer: Grave of daughter found overgrown” Star, 4th August 1949, Mafikeng: South AfricaGoogle Scholar
  5. - Macrae, Duncan Mackenzie, 1930. “One of Livingstone’s Mission Homes: Inaccessible Kolobeng today” Star 1930, Mafikeng: South AfricaGoogle Scholar
  6. - Illustration 297: Pastor of the Apostolic church, an African sect, baptizes a convert, 1960Google Scholar
  7. - Illustration302: LMS church at Kanye, 1895Google Scholar

References

  1. Arkush, A. S. (2011). Native responses to European intrusion: Cultural persistence and agency among mission neophytes in Spanish Colonial Northern California. Historical Archaeology, 45(4), 62–90.Google Scholar
  2. Blaikie, W. G. (1881). The personal life of David Livingstone: Chiefly from his unpublished journals and correspondence in the possession of his family (2nd ed.). London: John Murray.Google Scholar
  3. Charles, E. R. (1927). Three martyrs of the nineteenth century: Livingstone, Gordon, Patteson. New York: Macmillan Co.Google Scholar
  4. Claval, P. (2007). Changing conceptions of heritage and landscape. In N. Moore & Y. Whelan (Eds.), Heritage, memory and the politics of identity: New perspectives on the cultural landscape (pp. 85–92). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  5. Cock, J., & Fig, D. (2000). From colonial to community-based conservation: Environmental justice and the national parks of South Africa. Society in Transition, 31(1), 22–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Comaroff, & Comaroff. (2001). Revelations upon revelations: Aftershocks, afterthoughts. Interventions, 31(1), 100–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Connah, G. (2000). African civilizations: An archaeological perspectives (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Duffy, R., & Moore, L. (2010). Neoliberalising nature? Elephant-back tourism in Thailand and Botswana. Antipode, 42(3), 742–766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Darke, P., Shanks, G., & Broadbent, M. (1998). Successfully completing case study research: Combining rigor, relevance and pragmatism. Info Systems Journal, 8, 273–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Endfield, G. H., & Nash, D. J. (2007). A good site for health: Missionaries and the pathological geography of central southern Africa. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 28, 142–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Graham, W. A. (1987). Beyond the written word: Oral aspects of scripture in the history of religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Hall, M. (1996). Archaeology Africa. Cape Town: David Phillip.Google Scholar
  13. Hicks, D., & MacAtackney, L. (2007). Introduction, landscapes as standpoints. In D. Hicks, L. MacAtackney, & G. Fairclough (Eds.), Envisioning landscape: Situations and standpoints in archaeology and heritage (pp. 13–26). Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.Google Scholar
  14. ICOMOS [International Council on Monuments and Sites]. (2008). The ICOMOS Charter for the Interpretation and Presentation of Cultural Heritage Sites. Paris. France Online: http://www.icomos.org/charters/interpretation_e.pdf. Accessed on 12 May 2016.
  15. Keitumetse, S. O. (2005). Sustainable development and archaeological heritage management: Local community participation and monument tourism in Botswana. Doctoral dissertation, University of Cambridge.Google Scholar
  16. Keitumetse, S. O. (2006). UNESCO 2003 convention on intangible heritage: Practical implications for heritage management approaches in Africa. South African Archaeological Bulletin, 61(184), 166–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Keitumetse, S. O. (2011). Sustainable development and cultural heritage management in botswana: Towards sustainable communities. Sustainable Development, 19, 49–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ki-Zerbo, J. (Ed.). (1990). General history of Africa I: Methodology and African prehistory. Berkeley: James Currey.Google Scholar
  19. Leornardi. (2003). Laying the first course of stones: Building the London Missionary Society Church in Madagascar, 1862–1895. International Journal of African Historical Studies, 36(3), 607–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Livingstone, D. (1857). Missionary travels and researches in South Africa: Including a sketch of sixteen years’ residence in the interior of Africa. London: John Murray.Google Scholar
  21. Livingstone, D. (1895). Livingstone and Stanley: The story of the opening up of the Dark Continent. London: W&R Chambers.Google Scholar
  22. Moore, N., & Whelan, Y. (2007). Preface. In N. Moore & Y. Whelan (Eds.), Heritage, memory and the politics of identity: New perspectives on the cultural landscape. Aldershot: Ashgate. x.Google Scholar
  23. Moss, B. A. (1999). “And the Bones Come Together”: Women’s religious expectation in Southern Africa, c. 1900–1945. The Journal of Religious History, 23(1), 108–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. O’Keeffe, T. (2007). Landscape and memory: Historiography, theory, methodology. In N. Moore & Y. Whelan (Eds.), Heritage, memory and the politics of identity: New perspectives on the cultural landscape (pp. 03–17). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  25. Palmer, C. (2009). Reflections on the practice of ethnography within heritage tourism. In M. L. S. Sorensen & J. Carman (Eds.), Heritage studies: Methods and approaches (pp. 123–136). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Parsons, J. W. (1997). The Livingstones at Kolobeng: 1847–1852. Gaborone: Botswana Society.Google Scholar
  27. Reisinger, Y., & Steiner, C. (2006) Reconceptualising interpretation: The role of tour guides in authentic tourism. Current Issues in Tourism, 9(6): 481–498.Google Scholar
  28. Republic of Botswana. (2001). Monuments and Relics Act 2001, Act No. 12 of 2001. Gaborone: Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs.Google Scholar
  29. Republic of Botswana. (1970). Monuments and Relics Act 1970, chapter 59:03. Gaborone: Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs.Google Scholar
  30. Republic of Botswana. (2003a). Discover Botswana 2003. Gaborone: Department of Tourism, Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism.Google Scholar
  31. Republic of Botswana. (2003b). Botswana focus 2003 (compiled by Nico Maritz). Northlands: African Destination Publishing. (Commissioned by the Department of Tourism).Google Scholar
  32. Ross, A. (1999). David Livingstone: The man behind the mask. In J. de Gruch (Ed.), Historical essays in celebration of the bicentenary of the LMS in Southern Africa, 1799–1999 (pp. 37–54). Cape Town: David Phillip.Google Scholar
  33. Rutz, M. A. (2008). ‘Meddling with politics: The political role of foreign missions in the early nineteenth century. The Parliamentary History Yearbook Trust 2008. Google Scholar
  34. Schapera, I. (1959). David Livingstone: Family letters (Vol. 1). London: Chatto and Windus.Google Scholar
  35. Schapera, I. (1960). Livingstone’s private journals 1851–1853. London: Chatto and Windus.Google Scholar
  36. Schapera, I. (1961). Livingstone’s missionary correspondence 1841–1856. London: Chatto and Windus.Google Scholar
  37. Schmidt, P. (1995). Using archaeology to remake history in Africa. In P. R. Schmidt & T. C. Patterson (Eds.), Making alternative histories: The practice of archaeology and history in non-western settings (pp. 119–147). Santa Fe: School of American Research.Google Scholar
  38. Schmidt, P. R., & Patterson, T. C. (1995). Making alternative histories: The practice of archaeology and history in non-Western settings. Seattle: School of American Research Press; Distributed by the University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  39. Shetler, J. B. (2007). Imagining Serengeti: A history of landscape memory in Tanzania from earliest times to the present. Athens: Ohio University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Simmons, D. (2000). Signs of the times: Missionaries and tribal genesis in Southern Rhodesia. Transforming Anthropology, 9(2), 03–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sorensen, M. L. S., & Carman, J. (Eds.). (2009). Heritage studies: Methods and approaches. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  42. Stahl, A. B. (2010). Route work through alternative archives: Reflections on cross-disciplinary practice. South African Historical Journal, 62(2), 252–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. UNESCO (1972). United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) meeting, Paris, 17th October to 21st November 1972, 17th session. Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage adopted 1972. Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  44. UNESCO (2003). United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) meeting, Paris, 29 September to17th October 2003, 32nd session. Convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage, adopted 17th Oct 2003. Paris: FranceGoogle Scholar
  45. Uzzel, D. L. (1998). Interpreting out heritage: A theoretical interpretation. In D. Uzzel & R. Ballantyne (Eds.), Contemporary issues in heritage and environmental interpretation: Problems and prospects (pp. 11–25). London: The Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  46. Volz, S. (2008). Written on our hearts: Tswana Christians and the ‘Word of God’ in the Mid-Nineteenth Century. Journal of Religion in Africa, 38, 112–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Willoughby, W. C. (1905). Notes on the totemism of Botswana. Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 35(2), 295–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED). (1987). Our common future. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Osireditse Keitumetse
    • 1
  1. 1.Okavango Research InstituteUniversity of BotswanaMaunBotswana

Personalised recommendations