Politics of Heritage in Africa African Edition by Peterson, Derek
Cambridge University Press, 01 January 2015
Paperback, 291 PAGES
Heritage work has had a uniquely wide currency in Africa's politics. Secure within the pages of books, encoded in legal statutes, encased in glass display cases and enacted in the panoply of court ritual, the artifacts produced by the heritage domain have become a resource for government administration, a library for traditionalists and a marketable source of value for cultural entrepreneurs. The Politics of Heritage in Africa draws together disparate fields of study - history, archaeology, linguistics, the performing arts and cinema - to show how the life ways of the past were made into capital, a store of authentic knowledge that political and cultural entrepreneurs could draw from. This book shows African heritage to be a mode of political organization, a means by which the relics of the past are shored up, reconstructed and revalued as commodities, as tradition, as morality or as patrimony.