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Reading: Is there Hope for Heritage in Former British Colonies in Eastern Africa? A View from Tanzania

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Research Article

Is there Hope for Heritage in Former British Colonies in Eastern Africa? A View from Tanzania

Authors:

Peter R. Schmidt ,

Center for African Studies, Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, US
About Peter
Peter Schmidt is Professor Emeritus
of Anthropology and African Studies,
University of Florida, USA;
and Extraordinary Professor of Archaeology,
University of Pretoria, RSA
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Elgidius B. Ichumbaki

Department of Archaeology, University of Dar es Salaam, TZ
About Elgidius
Elgidius Ichumbaki is a Senior Lecturer in Heritage Studies, Archaeology Department, University of Dar es Salaam
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Abstract

British Colonial governments in eastern Africa became deeply involved in the protection and conservation of Protected Areas, zones of high value for natural history and wildlife. Often such areas were created without consideration of community interests and management expertise. Centralized power and decision-making militated against local engagement. This trend was accompanied by parallel developments in the heritage sector, which initially focused on the creation of institutions to facilitate the preservation of sites declared as national monuments in the respective colonies. Such institutions were given the mandate to ensure the security and conservation of the monuments, to investigate the history/archaeology of the respective colonies, and to provide permits to researchers. These institutions continue to document and preserve heritage sites and issue permits, but their strong application of central control has diminished local attempts to manage and develop heritage sites. Using Tanzania as a case study, this paper examines how the Division of Antiquities has come to mimic the Division of Wildlife’s failure to respond to community needs and initiatives—part of the colonial legacy of central control and maintenance of institutional interests before service to public concern.
How to Cite: Schmidt, P.R. and Ichumbaki, E.B., 2020. Is there Hope for Heritage in Former British Colonies in Eastern Africa? A View from Tanzania. Journal of African Cultural Heritage Studies, 2(1), pp.26–51. DOI: http://doi.org/10.22599/jachs.69
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Published on 05 May 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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