Shimoni Caves Contested Meaning



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Africa Bib


In pre-colonial and the early colonial periods, African intangible heritage was managed by local communities using their local unwritten laws; many sacred sites were managed by traditional custodians who used a series of taboos, rituals and restrictions to take care of the sites. This was so because many African societies' religious beliefs were based on the respect for natural spirits and ancestors, belief in the continuing involvement of ancestors in their lives, beliefs in the forces of good and evil that can be manipulated by direct communication with the ancestors and spirits through prayer and sacrifice. Therefore places such as mountains, water springs, rocks, rivers and caves became ''intangible sacred' sites. Though this has to a large measure changed because of the influence of Christianity, Islam or Western education, there are areas, however, where ancestor and spirit worship is still done openly regardless of religious affiliation. Shimoni village on the southern Kenya coast is one such place