Use of eco-cultural maps and calendars to revive traditional culture, seed diversity, and protect Sacred Natural Sites
Venda, Limpopo, South Africa June 2013
Te first this week of June, local indigenous clans from across Venda in the Limpopo province of South Africa, are joined by allies from Kenya, Ghana and Benin, to explore the use of eco-cultural maps and calendars, also known as “talking tools”, to revive traditional culture, seed diversity, and protect Sacred Natural Sites. The workshop is being hosted by The Mupo Foundation. Known as “The Land of Myth and Legend”, Venda is home to a network of Sacred Natural Sites known as Ziwfho. From forests to springs and waterfalls, these sites have traditionally been protected and revered by custodian clans of the VhaVenda people. In recent years the onset of tourism and development projects, and the threat of coal mining in the region, pose a threat to these sites.
The Mupo Foundation is working with the local clans and Dzomo la Mupo, local community-based organisation, for the protection of Venda’s Sacred Natural Sites and the rights of their custodian clans.At this latest workshop, held just outside the town of Thohoyandou in Venda (Vhembe district), local clans will focus on their Sacred Natural Sites, using maps of the future as a tool to define their governance plans. Two clans will develop also develop calendars around traditional seed varieties, whilst a further clan is concerned especially with its river and the growing threat to water security.They are joined by allies from Kenya, Ghana and Benin – members of the African Biodiversity Network – who will be learning from the process how to better support local communities in their own countries to protect their Sacred Natural Sites.
Find out more:
• Learn about The Mupo Foundation and their experiences in mapping.
• Watch “Reviving our Culture, Mapping our Future” – a film about eco-cultural mapping in Venda, South Africa.
• Visit the Gaia eco-cultural maps and calendars web page to find out more about this process.