First heritage centre for SA’s first people. It’s about time

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First heritage centre for SA’s first people. It’s about time

San heritage centre at !Khwa ttu joins a wave of revivalism sweeping the country

Senior science reporter

When Sara “Saartjie” Baartman stepped onto the podium at Picadilly Circus in London on November 24 1810, derogatively billed The Hottentot Venus, it was a moment that defined the colonial mindset of the time: white supremacy, exhibitionism of “the other”, European eugenics …

But even by 1936, this showcasing of another human being – a Khoi or a San – as some type of “exotic” science specimen, was still taking place in the form of an “authentic Bushman camp” in Johannesburg, and those “chosen” by academics were fitted with labels around their necks.

These tags allocated a “number” to each “specimen” and included data such as measurements and colouring...

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