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CRAFT AND CULTURE AT ST LUCIA (article first published : 2001-04-3)

A vibrant exhibition of handmade craft created especially for the décor and design market will mark the beginning of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park Cultural Programme on April 7.

The five-year Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative Cultural Programme is being implemented in the area to marry the rich cultural legacy and local indigenous knowledge while providing significant opportunities for expanding culturally-based social and economic activity.

Over the past 15 months, 400 crafters have been involved in a programme where they have worked with product designers and trainers learning to develop products that are saleable, contemporary and of good quality. The Craft Exhibition provides an important forum for crafters to show their new products.

Underpinning the programme is the documentation of oral history and indigenous knowledge. Drama workshops will facilitate the development of scripts and material based on local history and indigenous knowledge. It is expected that this documentation process will be a critical component of the long-term vision of the programme. It will provide material tol shape the management of the Park and feed into the development of a Heritage route. Other aims are to contribute towards cultural exhibitions and the school curriculum.

The day’s celebrations will also be carried out in the Khula village in St Lucia where an indigenous music and dance festival will showcase indigenous styles such as ingoma, indlamu, isikhuze, Shembe traditional, isicathimiya and umzansi.

The event on April 7 will be opened by Dr Ben Ngubane, Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, Dr Ben Ngubane. The public is warmly invited to attend both events.

More details from Nokwazi Radebe on (031) 261-8181.




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