The Heritage Protection Of South Africa Essay

1480 Words Nov 2nd, 2016 6 Pages
Total Heritage Protection has been enshrined in law, it gives rise to troubling contradictions. To defend indigenous peoples, it promotes official boundaries that separate one kind of native person from another, and native persons from non-native ones, thereby threatening the fluidity of ethnic and family identities typically found in aboriginal communities. In the name of defending indigenous traditions, it forces the elusive qualities of entire civilizations into ready-made legal categories, among which “heritage” and “culture” are only the most far-reaching.

‘Indigenous’ cannot be exclusively used to refer to the sole claimant groups thereby suggesting that the term needs to be understood relationally. The fact remains that “for some Africans, distinguishing between natives and others may be redolent of that logic of internal minorities that was foundational to the apartheid policies of South Africa (p. 14).

Historical, sociological and anthropological studies have described complex migratory waves and mingling between different groups throughout centuries – or millennia- whereby asserting priority in time and continuous occupation of specific territories by specific groups is a difficult, at times hazardous, task.

The idea of ‘indigenous people’ works better in the Americas and Australia – where in recent centuries large number of Europeans and Africans settled, outstripping and marginalizing local populations of much longer residence – than in South Asia, where…

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