Written in the Sand South African San Institute
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This Site is sponsored by
UNESCO'S Division for Cultural Policies in the
Sector for Culture

Needs | Action Plan | Products & Processes | Principles | Mobilising Identity | Using CRA


Products and Processes

Phase 2 above is the Cultural Resources Auditing (CRA) process. The detail of our auditing methodology work appears in an accompanying publication and website on best practices. Below we have drawn attention to some of the more significant components, principles and lessons of our work so far. The processes accompanying each product output matter as much as the products. These processes are described in the following section and the principles are reviewed in the final section.

TABLE 3: Products of San Cultural
Resources Auditing, 1998-2000


  • A series of maps of traditional hunting areas in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP), with some reference to gathering areas (1940s)
  • A map of significant trees and graves inside and outside KTP (showing the referential system of culture and landscape)
  • A map of KTP place names in Khoekhoegowab and translated meanings
  • 3 maps of individual diaspora with co-indexed records of natural resources usage
  • Reconstructed maps of the linguistic and ethnographic profile of the southern Kalahari at the start of the 20th century
  • Training for San negotiating team on how to use maps as negotiating tools with National Park


  • Audio and audiovisual interviews with 5 elders on their life histories, including origins, identity, movements, key life moments, natural resource use, family history. Produced in Afrikaans. All original N|u and Khoekhoegowab text transcribed and translated
    Maps of individual life movements (see GIS maps above)


  • An orthography for writing N|u (based on agreed principles)
  • A glossary of N|u arising from research
  • A sample of myths with good audio in N|u, transcribed into Khoekhoegowab with Afrikaans summaries, and a digital audio-visual “performance”
  • Survey of N|u speakers, including identifying relationships to each other, dialect varieties, places of birth, migration, and origin of grandparents


  • Produce two short pilot videos, one on / for N|u speakers, one on the CRA process
  • Produce initial digital short on CRA for community
  • Provide San with examples of similar work (e.g. ethnographic films)
  • Produce a series of digital films on the CRA and land resettlement process– telling the story of the diaspora for current and future generations


  • Genealogy of “original” generation at ‡Aka‡naus (1936) and Rietfontein (1911) (i.e. accounting for all N|u speakers and core group). The depth is as far back as possible using living testimony, Bleek and Dart archival material
  • Find and pilot genealogy software (Personal Ancestral File 4.0)
  • Run a workshop for SASI and San CPA on genealogical findings
  • Identify talented young genealogists in San community, provide initial training
  • Help install genealogical software management for registration purposes, and train interested community members
  • Produce laminated family trees of key families (up to 5) for use by community
  • Ensure accurate spelling of Khoekhoegowab and N|u names