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March 11, 2013

John Medley Wood and Inanda Valley

John Medley Wood (1827-1918), the ‘father of botany’ in KwaZulu-Natal, founded the Natal Herbarium and was an early curator of the Botanic Gardens in Durban. Although he had no formal training in botany, he collected prolifically, discovering many new species of plants and and published a number of pioneering works on the local flora. Many of his plants were collected in the  Inanda Valley, where he had a farm and ran a trading store. Several plants are now named after Inanda, including Crassula inandensis, Gladiolus inandensis, Pavetta inandanensis and Tephrosia inandensis.

David Styles published Wood’s fascinating story in Plant Life:

John Medley Wood – The Father of KZN Botany

John Medley Wood’s Inanda

February 27, 2013

Mzinyathi Falls – Inanda Heritage Route Development

Significance
It is important to make access to this spectacular scenery so near central Durban more accessible to the general population and also to retain it as a visual contrast to the dense settlement nearby in Inanda

Vision
An exhilarating view or adventure experience in contrast to all else on the route

Opportunities
• Viewsite over the falls
• Eco-adventures ; cycling, hiking, abseiling, canopy tours, zip lining
• Visiting the Rastafarian cave

Guidelines
• It will be important to always respect the natural setting by ameliorating all manmade features with a high standard of landscape design.
• Protecting the wetlands above the waterfall.
• Maintenance, especially in regard to litter
• Warning notices.
• Existing small shop on the approach road to be enhanced for refreshments to resolve security problems, keep litter away from the site and support local endeavours. The owner has been approached and is keen.

 

Excerpted from: DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK PLAN & MARKETING STRATEGY INANDA HERITAGE ROUTE Harber & Associates IHR Consortium FINAL REPORT July 2010

 

February 27, 2013

Inanda Dam – Inanda Heritage Route Development

Significance
The huge body of water is sited spectacularly within broken terrain and yet the enormous potential lies generally dormant. Since Inanda presents the easiest access to the dam which lies at the far end of the Route this should eventually lead to ongoing invigoration along the entire length.

Vision
It is important to make access to this spectacular dam so near central Durban more accessible to the general population and in so doing offer employment opportunities.

Opportunities

To enhance the social perspective by displaying examples of the early Bantu settlements inundated under the dam.
To demonstrate the importance of water in Development
Enhance social tourism which is already in place eg ‘home stays’
Create employment opportunities servicing tourist facilities

Guidelines
All developments will need to be undertaken in close co-operation with relevant Water Authorities who have the responsibility of maintaining the integrity of this major water source.

 

Excerpted from: DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK PLAN & MARKETING STRATEGY INANDA HERITAGE ROUTE Harber & Associates IHR Consortium FINAL REPORT July 2010

Durban Green Corridor has subsequently developed various adventure tourism and recreational services and programmes around the dam, for instance, Youth Trail Running.

 

 

 

February 27, 2013

Ebuhleni – Inanda Heritage Route Development

Excerpted from: DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK PLAN & MARKETING STRATEGY INANDA HERITAGE ROUTE Harber & Associates IHR Consortium FINAL REPORT July 2010

Significance
A breakaway faction led by the regent Amos K Shembe broke away from Ekuphakameni in 1977 and now has the dominant membership. Their site settled as recently as 1980 is on the striking plateaux of Mtabutule with spectacular views all around providing it with the apt name ‘Ebuhleni’ (the beautiful place).
Densities are exceptionally high, aided by religious tolerance, especially during the January and July festivals when followers crowd into makeshift shelters of isintingu (lathes) bound by nylon rope and draped with the over runs of beverage cartons. Transitional architecture at its best!
In contrast the central prayer space is sublime under a canopy of trees with white stones defining the edges and separate entrances defined for the Bishop, men, women and maidens.
The Prophet was perceptive to recognise dance as a primary form of worship resulting in world class spectacles of thousands of dancers separated into gender and age groups.

Vision
To share the experience of a very dense informal settlement with a large central open air prayer space.
To preserve traditional values.

Opportunities
Offering an experience of an African eclectic religion and its mass rituals.

Creating employment by producing their unique memorabilia for sale e.g. ‘vuvuzelas’

Guidelines
Visitor behaviour in regard to access to the site, dress codes and separation of genders is important.

 

 

Ebuhleni Consolidated phases   Ebuhleni – Consolidated phases
AFTER MIKULA WILSON ASSOCIATES ARCHITECTS

February 18, 2013

Ekuphakameni – Inanda Heritage Route Development

Excerpted from: DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK PLAN & MARKETING STRATEGY INANDA HERITAGE ROUTE Harber & Associates IHR Consortium FINAL REPORT July 2010

Significance
Literally translated as “the elated place” this well treed and dignified site was purchased in 1913 from the original White owners by one of his followers for the founding Prophet Isaiah Shembe. This served as the centre of the amaNazarene an eclectic and intriguing African religious movement giving rise to a range of historic buildings, spaces and pathways arranged in a typical Bantu manner around ‘Paradise’ an open air prayer space not unlike an isibaya. Men and Women are separated
It is proposed to focus the visitors experience onto the origins and beliefs of the AmaNazarene.

Vision
To enhance the religious ambience of the site
Define discrete and informative tour routes
To demonstrate an African religious response
Uphold the Prophets respect for flora and fauna
Develop the overall site further to accommodate contemporary demands

Opportunities
There are excellent examples of intangible heritage, and even intangible architecture at this site, notably the white painted rows of stones which represent ‘walls’, the star beacons, the cairn as well as oral accounts of events.
Archive the records properly and provide access for visitors and scholars.
Provide access to witness special rituals.
Accommodation on site for serious visitors.
There are plans afoot to make the large site more responsive to current urban demands by developing transitional/social housing accommodation and a high school.
The current barbed fencing on site is a result of tension between factions and will hopefully be resolved soon.

Guidelines
The current neglect of historic buildings needs to be reversed in a professional manner to the approval of Heritage Authorities. This creates a special challenge because the church themselves have recognised the limitations of traditional bio-degradable materials. For example the original four amaqhugwane forming the Musamo for the ancestors near the MR25 have been replaced by hexagonal masonry rondavels!
Visitor behaviour in regard to access to the site, dress codes and separation of genders is important.
Development of the vacant land must be done sensitively, and the character of the core religious site should be retained.

 

Ekuphakameni proposed development

February 8, 2013

Archaeology

There is evidence of crude ‘handaxes’ from the Stone Age occupants in Inanda. The later Stone Age (25 000 years ago) introduced the more refined stone tools, shell necklaces, bored stones, grindstones and the bow and arrow used by the original Khoi San residents. However, later developments are of particular interest One of many sites in the valley now inundated to form the Inanda Dam, was named Kwagandaganda because tractors were utilized to speed up archaeological excavations during construction of the dam. The small  Early Iron Age agricultural settlement with byres, evidence of built platforms, granaries, a forging area and a men’s assembly area dating back to the sixth century prove that the Inanda area has been occupied by Bantu people for at least 1 500 years. Clay vessels, grindstones, clay cattle and figurines and even remnants of dung reinforce
this evidence.

In the “Natal Museum Journal of Humanities Vol 6, 1994,” Archaeologist Gavin Whitelaw, writing about excavations at Kwagandaganda, states:”This pattern is archaeological evidence for a patrilineal society in which the structural relationship between men, women and cattle was similar to that found among Bantu speakers in South Africa today. It indicates, therefore, essential similarities between the worldviews of first and second millennium agriculturists in Natal. The successive use of recent ethnography from South Africa to explain a number of features on the site provides further support for this point of view”.

Personal items like glass and copper beads, ivory bracelets and a Ninth century Islamic vessel prove that these early residents weren’t isolated pioneers but part of a widespread network.

THE EVOLUTION OF TOOLS OVER MILLENIA

ITEMS EXCAVATED FROM KWAGANDAGANDA

 

Excerpted from

DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK PLAN & MARKETING STRATEGY INANDA HERITAGE ROUTE Harber & Associates IHR Consortium FINAL REPORT July 2010

For further information click on any of  the links below:

The Stone Age Cultures of South Africa

The Khoisan

Iron Age Kingdoms of Southern Africa

African Farmers of Southern Africa

February 5, 2013

Umemulo

Ayanda Ncgobo

Umemulo is a ritual which is very similar to umhlonyana but it is like a 21st birthday celebration. It is a ritual done for a girl who has reached the age of 21; it is a token of appreciation from parents to daughter. To appreciate that their daughter has behaved herself until the age of 21 as it is usually for girls who have never been pregnant. It is also a way of saying that our daughter has grown and ready for marriage. In some instances you find that girls, especially first born child, may be faced with problems or get seriously ill if they did not have this ritual. Even if they already had children, they may need to do umemulo, especially before they get married. Usually when a girl is getting married and they did not have umemulo, the parents may take one of the lobola cows and perform the ritual.
The process of umemulo is very much like that of umhlonyana but the main difference is that, when doing umemulo a cow is slaughtered, if the girl did not have umhlonyana they may start with slaughtering a goat. And it is done for a girl that is 21 years or older but not younger unless a girl is getting married before the age of 21, it is to say you are old enough to get married, you have reached womanhood and the young men can come and make you their bride.

Umemulo for me, is important, your parents show that they appreciate the way you have behaved until reaching this stage. You are also prepared for marriage, you are taught on how to be good bride and wife. I would much rather have umemulo than a 21st birthday party, it has more meaning, you learn more about one’s culture and also about being a woman.
Ayanda Ngcobo, October 2012