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Media Release: KNP Celebrates Diverse Cultural Heritage

The Executive Director of the Kruger National Park, Dr Bandile Mkhize urged people of all cultures to learn more about the KNP at the Cultural Heritage Day Celebration in Skukuza today (Saturday September 23, 2006).

“South African National Parks realises its role in conserving the diverse cultural heritage sites found in our parks and the Kruger National Park is no exception to this mission.
It is therefore important for everyone here today to not only get to know more about the Cultural Heritage Sites found in Kruger, but also to get to know more about each other’s different cultures,” Dr Mkhize explained.

The event, which took place on the Skukuza Soccer Field, showcased the 508 cultural heritage sites situated in Kruger with a simulated mini-KNP marked out on the field with ropes, display boards and artifacts showing the exact location of each of these sites.

“But we must also remember that culture not only includes these immovable assets,” explained the KNP’s head of people and conservation, Ms Helen Mmethi, “but it also includes people’s actions, their songs, their dances and their music.”

Traditional dancers from various cultures, including Swati, Tsonga and North Sotho then demonstrated their unique forms of dancing while their movements, words, dance steps; music and clothing were interpreted for the audience.

The event wrapped up Kruger’s contribution to SANParks National Parks Week, which saw events and promotions in every park across the country.

Cultural sites in the Kruger National Park that can be seen by visitors include: graves of various cultural leaders and personalities, plaques and memorials (eg Kruger Tablets), museums (eg Stevenson-Hamilton Museum and Library and the Letaba Elephant Hall) and various other sites, including Masorini, Thulamela and Albasini Ruins.

Captions:

1: Talking Culture: Key people at the KNP Cultural Heritage Day celebration were, from left, KNP HOD People and Conservation Ms Helen Mmethi, KNP Executive Director Dr Bandile Mkhize, SAHRA Provincial Heritage Manager Mr Neo January and KNP HOD Communication and Public Relations Mr William Mabasa

2: This Swati dancer shows off his passion and skills at the KNP Cultural Heritage Day celebrations.

3: A map of the KNP was marked out on the ground with rope, and the various heritage attractions were displayed.

Issued by:
Raymond Travers, Media Relations Practitioner, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: 013 735 4116, cell: 082 908 2677 or email: raymondt@sanparks.org

Enquiries:
William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communications, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: 013 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919 or email: williamm@sanparks.org

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