Reclaiming Heritage: Alternative Imaginaries of Memory in West Africa

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2009-04-30
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Struggles over the meaning of the past are common in postcolonial states. State cultural heritage programs build monuments to reinforce in nation building efforts—often supported by international organizations and tourist dollars. These efforts often ignore the other, more troubling memories preserved by local communities—markers of colonial oppression, cultural genocide, and ethnic identity. Yet, as the contributors to this volume note, questions of memory, heritage, identity and conservation are interwoven at the local, ethnic, national and global level and cannot be easily disentangled. In a fascinating series of cases from West Africa, anthropologists, archaeologists and art historians show how memory and heritage play out in a variety of postcolonial contexts. Settings range from televised ritual performances in Mali to monument conservation in Djenne and slavery memorials in Ghana.

Author Biography

Perdinand De Jong is Lecturer in Anthropology at the School of World Art Studies and Museology of the University of East Anglia. Micheal Rowlands is Professor of Anthropology at University College London.

Table of Contents

Illustrationsp. 7
Series Editor's Forewordp. 9
Acknowledgmentsp. 11
Reconsidering Heritage and Memoryp. 13
Old Origins, New Imaginaries
'Taking on a Tradition': African Heritage and the Testimony of Memoryp. 31
Slave Route Projects: Tracing the Heritage of Slavery in Ghanap. 71
Picturing the Past: Heritage, Photography, and the Politics of Appearance in a Yoruba Cityp. 99
Materiality and Conservation
Entangled Memories and Parallel Heritages in Malip. 127
'Enchanting Town of Mud': Djenné, A World Heritage Site in Malip. 145
A Masterpiece of Masquerading: Contradictions of Conservation in Intangible Heritagep. 161
Recognition and Reconciliation
From a Glorious Past to the Lands of Origin: Media Consumption and Changing Narratives of Cultural Belonging in Malip. 185
Demystified Memories: The Politics of Heritage in Post-Socialist Guineap. 215
Palimpsest Memoryscapes: Materializing and Mediating War and Peace in Sierra Leonep. 231
About the Contributorsp. 261
Indexp. 265
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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