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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Secret San of the Drakensberg and their rock art legacy
Author:Prins, Frans E.ISNI
Periodical:Critical Arts: A Journal of Media Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
rock art
conservation of cultural heritage
ethnic identity
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02560040903016917
Abstract:This article gives an overview of the historical factors that led to the formation of the 'Secret San' as an ethnic category. It argues that the popular notion of an extinct Drakensberg San group is too simplistic and indeed incorrect. Many San descendants have taken on a duel ethnic identity as a survival strategy. Some descendants maintain an active association with rock art and have become part of the international First People Movement and other international initiatives initiated by the United Nations and NGOs. The article further argues that the declaration of a UNESCO-acknowledged World Heritage site within the former abode of independent Drakensberg San groups (i.e. the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage site in South Africa) initially received little support from San descendants. However, revised management strategies have seen the facilitation of San descendants' access to rock art in protected areas and the incorporation of indigenous perspectives in heritage management plans. In spite of this, San descendants' perspectives on rock art interpretation have been ignored by researchers who traditionally have utilized the ethnography of San groups spatially removed from the Drakensberg in order to highlight the meaning of the art. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]