Promotion of earthen ware pottery-making skills in Kgatleng district

  • Financial assistance:
    • US$ 68,261 granted in 2016
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 17/02/2017 - 30/06/2018
  • Documents:

Benefitting country(ies): Botswana


Earthenware pottery-making skills were inscribed in 2012 on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. Practised among the Bakgatla ba Kgafela community in south-eastern Botswana and transmitted to daughters and granddaughters through observation and practice, earthenware pottery-making is at risk of extinction. The main factors for its decline are the decreasing number of master potters, lack of interest in learning the skills and knowledge among youth, low prices for finished goods and increasing use of mass-produced containers. Furthermore, two key ingredients used for pottery-making, the clay soil and weathered sand stone, are found at the foot of Phuthadikobo and Tsope hills in Mochudi, the capital of the Kgatleng district, where residential plots have encroached on the cultural spaces associated with this practice. Implemented by the Phuthadikobo Museum in Mochudi, the project foresees the implementation of a number of components of the safeguarding plan included in the nomination file. Strengthening the transmission of the earthenware pottery-making skills will be sought through training young potters while providing them with a temporary selling exhibition as well as through field work that should result both in the development of educational materials and the fencing of spaces associated with the practice in order to protect access to raw materials.

International assistance related to an element inscribed or nominated for the Urgent Safeguarding List:

00753 - Earthenware pottery-making skills in Botswana’s Kgatleng District (7.COM, inscribed/selected/approuved)

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