Processes of identification and documentation

Mbangela, Ethel Nomvula (2003) Processes of identification and documentation. In: 14th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Place, memory, meaning: preserving intangible values in monuments and sites’, 27 – 31 oct 2003, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

Oral history is the most narrative of all disciplines; it is a recollection of participants in and/or eyewitnesses to a historical event. Oral history refers to the knowledge that is transmitted orally over several generations within a given society. Oral history can therefore be defined as a record of information gathered in oral form, usually by electronic means, as a result of a planned interview. In contrast with written history, oral history is an inclusive and involving history to which each generation adds its knowledge and transmissions of the past generation. The purpose of oral history is to create a spoken record where none exists or to supplement existing records for future studies. These histories are easily remembered and presented in imaginable forms to assist the process of memory and production. Oral traditions depend on human memory for their preservation. If tradition is to survive, it must be stored in one person’s memory and be passed on to others. Memory is of importance. For instance, consider the ways in which learning and teaching take place in a social situation such as a performance or ritual, and the ways in which meaningful stories are taught and remembered. Cultural transmission is remarkable as it allows for mastery by one person (teaching) and enough opportunity for observation and modeling by others (learning). Oral history can be a very useful tool in bridging the gap between scholarly- and communitybased research. Language is to a large extent embedded in culture and vice -versa. Language is as much a cultural product as culture is a linguistic product, since language is the vehicle on which oral traditions travel. The focus of the presentation will be the discussion of the importance of language in the processes of identification and reading of places, the interpretation of the intangible dimensions and associations in a place. Therefore, it will basically be the relation between language and the interpretation of Monuments and Heritage Sites.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Mbangela, Ethel Nomvula
Languages: English
Keywords: oral tradition; intangible heritage; interpretation; aboriginal cultures; languages; documentation
Subjects: O.INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 01. Generalities
O.INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 06. Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 17. Intangible cultural heritage
O.INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 04. Social practices, rituals and festive events
O.INTANGIBLE HERITAGE > 02. Oral traditions and expressions (including language)
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2003, 14th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2010 14:28
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2011 19:16

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