Research Handbook on Contemporary Intangible Cultural Heritage
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Research Handbook on Contemporary Intangible Cultural Heritage

Law and Heritage

Edited by Charlotte Waelde, Catherine Cummings, Mathilde Pavis and Helena Enright

Bringing together key insights from expert legal and heritage academics and practitioners, this book explores the existence and safeguarding of contemporary forms of intangible cultural heritage (ICH). Providing a detailed analysis of the international legal frameworks relevant to ICH, the contributing authors then go on to challenge the pervasive view that heritage is about ‘old’ tangible objects by highlighting the existence, role and importance of contemporary forms of ICH to modern society.
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Chapter 16: Cultural heritage sites and contemporary uses: finding a balance between monumentality and intangibility in Eastern Zimbabwe Cultural

Njabulo Chipangura


This chapter will problematise the concept of heritage conservation at Ziwa and Matendera monuments within which the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) is the authorised managing institution. At these two sites the authorised heritage discourse previously marginalised the intangible concerns of communities by prioritising aesthetics associated with monumentality. Within this dichotomy, I will show how heritage conservation practices brewed a fertile ground for contestations emanating from a community that felt excluded in the overall management of the site by NMMZ. Attempts however have been made by NMMZ of late to involve communities in the use of their tangible and intangible cultural resources through the sustainable heritage conservation approach. In the chapter, I will highlight the intangible heritage that manifested in the form of social practices, rituals, festive events and through responsible use of resources around the sites.

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