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Min of Tourism staff gets heritage training

Nthatuoa Koeshe

THE ministry of Tourism recently partnered with Alliance Francaise for a workshop to capacitate staff from the department of culture and other stakeholders on the importance of tangible and intangible heritage.

The two-day workshop which was facilitated by an intangible heritage expert Séverine Cachat who is also the director of the French Centre of Intangible Cultural Heritage. She shared her experience and gave technical advice on the presentations at the workshop.

Among many others, there were presentations on Maseru’s historical architecture, the Litolobonya dance, gumboots dance and the road from independence to the present-day Lesotho.

Speaking to the Xpress People on the side-lines of the workshop, heritage officer in the ministry of Tourism, Tokelo Mapena, said the workshop explored ways of exhibiting Lesotho’s intangible and tangible heritage so that it is accessible to every Mosotho for educational, research and leisure purposes.

She defined intangible heritage as the practices, knowledge and skills which are inherited from past generation and should be maintained for the future generation. On the other and tangible includes buildings and historic places, monuments, artefacts which are considered worthy of preservation for the future.

Mapena said in most cases, the little knowledge which is known by elders usually disappears when they die hence it was important to document some of the intangible heritage for it to exist in future generations.

“We want to find ways to savour our heritage and how best we can exhibit it in the museum because there are practices and rituals which are part of the Basotho culture that should not just disappear because of failure of finding ways of safeguarding it,” Mapena said.

She said they were in the process of establishing the Lesotho National Museum which will document the country’s heritage and make it accessible to everyone.

“Lesotho has been the only country in Africa without a national museum and we are building one to help Basotho understand who they are and where they come from through the collection of these heritage pieces,” she said.

She said the ministry is currently on a “treasure expedition” for artefacts which carry Basotho heritage around the country and further appealed for the community with information regarding any pieces which they think is worth displaying in the museum.

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