chapter  5
23 Pages

Un-inheriting Khami

The conservation process
ByAshton Sinamai

This chapter discusses how Khami was appropriated through various means linked to its preservation. Conservation is a mediated social and political process. The discipline of heritage studies and conservation in Africa require an epistemic disobedience to create local reference points and to critique western philosophies. Builders at Khami also made innovations to suit the new environment. The 'excavations' at Khami were carried out in 1897 by William G. Neal and Geo Johnson, who were not conducting archaeological excavations but instead were treasure hunting. With the usual friction that comes with amalgamation of any organisations, Khami also became a victim of mismanagement. The Khami World Heritage Site Management Plan came about as the result of the nomination of the site on the World Monuments Watch's Most Endangered Sites list. Even with a management plan, the Khami World Heritage site continued to deteriorate as it was under-funded by the government.