Essay on Rock Art And Its Cultural Heritage

844 Words May 5th, 2015 4 Pages
Rock art can be viewed as part of everyone’s cultural heritage or as part of a specific groups’ cultural heritage. It is this difference of thought that can cause much debate on who should have access to and how to manage rock art sites. One way to ensure that the heritage is preserved regardless of what happens to the rock art itself is to record the stories that go along with the art. “Collecting and archiving [stories], with due respect for the traditional owners and in accordance with their wishes about what can or cannot be published, is as much a duty as preserving the art and its natural and archeological contexts” (Clottes, 2008:6). There is just some knowledge that is not meant to be learned or recorded. Indigenous people have the right to deny access to knowledge and rock art sites. Additionally, Jean Clottes, an advocate for rock art preservation asserts that “it is always advisable, whenever possible, to incorporate local populations in the management and eventual commercial exploitation of the sites and in their conservation” (Clottes, 2008: 11). I would go one step further and assert that indigenous people should have not just a voice in consultation about rock art sites but have the final say in what happens to their cultural heritage. Our interaction with rock art sites is a privilege and theirs is a right, therefore their voice matters the most in consultation and collaboration. Though ultimately indigenous people should have final say in how to manage…

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