chapter  7
Cultural negotiation and creation of a shared narrative at Mapungubwe
ByAshton Sinamai
Pages 16

This chapter discusses how perceptions of heritage change when a nation deliberately changes the narratives in recognition of its diversity. It shows that how narratives adopted by the state can have both positive and negative impacts on how heritage places are selected for preservation. The policy in Zimbabwe emphasises the archaic idea that a nation must share cultural beliefs and experiences. The postcolonial nation is not a pre-existing entity but a new negotiated space that keeps changing. In the adoption of Mapungubwe, the new government of South Africa required to use both the spatial and the temporal dimensions of memory. Mapungubwe had its 'naissance' in which it became the progenitor of the Zimbabwe Civilisation and its renaissance was the creation of a new emerging nation of South Africa after shedding an image of racial abuse and unequal development. The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2003.