Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape
The 160,000 hectare Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Lanscape of dramatic mountainous desert in the Northern Cape of South Africa constitutes a cultural landscape communally owned and managed. This property sustains the semi-nomadic pastoral livelihood of the Nama people, reflecting seasonal patterns that may have persisted for as much as two millennia in Southern Africa.
It is the only area where the Nama still construct portable houses, haru oms. The property includes seasonal migrations and grazing grounds, stockposts (bases used by the herders as they move with their herds of sheep and cattle on a seasonal basis) and Nama rush mat houses, small hemispherical portable structures, consisting of a wooden frame of intersecting wooden hoops, covered over with fine mats of braided local rushes. The pastoralists inhabiting this property collect medicinal and other plants and have a strong oral tradition associated with different places and attributes of the landscape.
Justification for Inscription:
Criterion (iv): to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history. Criterion (v): to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change. (Source: UNESCO).
The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape:
Recently inscribed as the eighth World Heritage Site in South Africa, the Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape is a remarkable mountainous desert in the north-west of the country that is uniquely owned and managed by the Nama community, descendents ... See additional info at Richtersveld Cultural & Botanical Landscape.