The !Khwa ttu San Heritage Centre provides a platform for San to share and explore San history and culture among both San community members and local and international visitors.
At !Khwa ttu we gather and disseminate information recorded about San to San, and we encourage all to engage in sensitive learning about San culture and the ancient and recent history of the San. Our historical exhibitions draw particular attention to the longevity of San history and its links to human origins, issues of colonial genocide and discrimination against San. Our community section deals with San resilience and development initiatives across the San. Our ‘Way of the San’ building sees visitors step into the heart of ‘traditional’ San life in the Kalahari.
Looking back; thinking forward
At the heart of our heritage centre lies recognition that to really understand San lifeways, we must move away from traditional, colonising museum approaches toward new and innovative curation strategies. It is our aim to remind visitors that there are different, yet ultimately familiar, ways of being in the world. Not so long ago everyone’s ancestors were hunters and foragers. We wish to stimulate ways of learning, knowing and being that are unfamiliar in classroom settings, thereby bringing visitors towards a better understanding of both the San and who we all are as human beings.
A further pillar in our strategy entails flagging environmental concerns and issues of sustainability. 12,000 years ago everyone lived by hunting and foraging. With the recent change in our subsistence strategy we risk the end of humankind and the end of our planet. We believe that if anyone can teach us how to live in a sustainable manner it is the San, with their low impact lifestyles, their minimal need of material possessions and their abilities to live in extremely challenging environments.