Cultural heritage of nature-tourism gateway communities & their landscapes

Okavango Delta World Heritage Site

Suryeing cultural heritage of wetlands

ABSTRACT:      This paper focuses on our research in Maun village, near Okavango Delta, a World Heritage Site (OD-WHS), Botswana. We hoped to illuminate the presence and strength of ‘dormant’ community cultural identities, and to learn how they are constituted in cultural values and tied to landscapes that have become re-branded as nature-tourism areas. To unveil these ‘dormant’ cultural values, we conducted ethnographic interviews among the Maun village traditional leaders, Dikgosi (Chiefs), who are cultural custodians of communal heritage, to identify and re-acknowledge cultural and heritage values from communal memory. The aim was to create a balance between the nature tourism identity and the more fluid socio-cultural identities of people. Our results show that Maun village has communal cultural values that can complement the gateway tourism image. This work provides a model for other nature-tourism gateway communities who wish to salvage and safeguard the cultural heritage identities connected to their particular landscapes.


For full article, get access at the following web-link:

* (2016). Community Cultural Identity in Nature-Tourism Gateway Areas: Maun Village, Okavango Delta World Heritage Site, Botswana. Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage: Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 99-117. doi: 10.1080/20518196.2016.1154738

Source: Author Services | Taylor & Francis Online



Dr Susan O. Keitumetse competed for and won two separate Commonwealth scholarships both to University of Cambridge, UK , where she pursued MPhil (Archaeological Heritage Management and Museums) and later on PhD (African cultural heritage and Sustainable Development). Before she had obtained a BA degree (Archaeology and Environmental Sciences) and Post Graduate Diploma in Education (Geography and History) from the University of Botswana. During her post-graduate studies, she combined both environmental science and archaeology disciplines to venture into the broader cultural and heritage management studies with a particular focus on sustainable development and cultural heritage management at the department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge. With a view to catalyze a linkage between environment and cultural heritage in Africa, Dr Keitumetse conducted various researches and published works that illustrate the relevance of cultural and heritage resources for the broader environmental conservation. She works at the University of Botswana’s Okavango Research Institute as a researcher in cultural heritage and tourism where she undertakes applied research in areas such as the Okavango inland Delta World Heritage Site and Kalahari areas. Of particular note is her developing conservation model of Community-Based Cultural Heritage Resources Management (COBACHREM) to guide local communities and practitioners’ initiatives towards sustainable use of cultural heritage resources for social development. Dr Keitumetse is an associate editor of the journal Environment, Development, and Sustainability published by Springer. She also sits in the editorial board of the international journal of community archaeology and heritage, published by Taylor and Francis, as well as the International Journal of Heritage and Sustainable Development published by Green Lines Institute, Portugal. Dr Keitumetse has both national and international experience from across the world. She has won academic grants for research fellowships in international institutions that include; the Rockefeller Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA; the Watson Scholar Fellowship at Brown University in Rhode Island, USA and the Wenner-Gren Foundation research grant for research on ‘historical archaeology of marginal landscapes of eastern Botswana’. Outside academia and in international development Dr Keitumetse has worked and continues to work with institutions such as UNESCO as an expert advisor, examiner, facilitator, and consultant within the intangible cultural heritage section. She has corporate governance experience from African government parastatal institution dealing with environment, heritage, tourism and land use planning. These are derived from her tenure as a board director of Botswana Tourism Organisation for six years, where she also chaired a quality assurance committee of the board dealing with grading and certifying tourism accommodation. Her overall research interests are in the areas of sustainable development and cultural heritage conservation; historical archaeology; community heritage management; communal cultural identities; heritage tourism; heritage and protected areas; international management of cultural heritage; amongst others. Dr Susan Keitumetse has published extensively in the field of cultural heritage conservation and management in Africa, Her works comprise of peer-reviewed articles in international journals; peer-reviewed book chapters; refereed conference proceedings; and technical reports in international periodicals, magazines and newspapers. These can be accessed through search engines such as Google Scholar and LinkedIn. *********************************************************************************************
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2 Responses to Cultural heritage of nature-tourism gateway communities & their landscapes

  1. The concept of community in cultural heritage is rvolving to adapt to changes in resources management. While the phrase ‘local communitues’ is now acceptef as the norm, more factivity related phrases will ensure issue-based and targeted conservation. Hence the discussion on ‘gateway communities’ in this article.


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