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The !Khwa ttu San Heritage Centre

A new Heritage Centre was launched on Heritage Day, 24 September, and now serve !Khwa ttu’s mission of cultural restitution. A vast quantity of scholarship has been carried out on the San; very little has ever been made available to the subjects of that research; the !Khwa ttu Heritage Centre address that.

An astonishing architectural structure, the Heritage Centre is embedded into land lines of the ridge looking towards Yzerfontein and the Atlantic Ocean. The surrounding indigenous vegetation cover the curved roof, which represents a shelter where people gather to learn and to share. With its immersive, multimedia “ostrich egg” room, digital archive, partly cantilevered roof, geothermal cooling and heating, and essentially contemporary architecture, the Heritage Centre depicts old wisdom combining with new technology for a sustainable future.

It addresses the hopes and dreams of San all over Southern Africa: it is a place to tell their story in ways of their choosing, a place of dignity where their voices can be heard and the past can be remembered for a better future; a place to tell you who the San are.

“The !Khwa ttu San Heritage Centre is a great deal more than a collection of artefacts and historical photos. It's a pioneering initiative that embraces the principle of community curation, led by San consultants from across Southern Africa and academics. All are designed to engage the body and senses as much as the mind. The exhibitions demonstrate the skills and knowledge of the San people, while also telling the archaeological story of the origins of the modern mind on the Southern African coastline.”

San’s story is a story of human origins, of beginnings. As such, it is your story too.

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