national park

Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape

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Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape

Home of the Nama people.

The 160,000 ha Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape of dramatic mountainous desert in the north-west part of South Africa constitutes a cultural landscape communally owned and managed. This property sustains the semi-nomadic pastoral livelihood of the Nama people, reflecting seasonal patterns that may have persisted for as much as two millennia in Southern Africa. It is the only area where the Nama still construct portable houses, haru oms. The property includes seasonal migrations and grazing grounds, stockposts (bases used by the herders as they move with their herds of sheep and cattle on a seasonal basis) and Nama rush mat houses, small hemispherical portable structures, consisting of a wooden frame of intersecting wooden hoops, covered over with fine mats of braided local rushes. The pastoralists inhabiting this property collect medicinal and other plants and have a strong oral tradition associated with different places and attributes of the landscape.

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