__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction

The Kasubi Tombs, Uganda

1. The Heritage Resource and its Context before the Impacting Event The Kasubi Tombs have been well documented and studies have been published (e.g. Remigius Kigongo and Andrew Reid. 2007. ‘Local Communities, Politics and the Management of the Kasubi Tombs, Uganda’, in World Archaeology. 39(3):371-384). The Kasubi Tombs constitute a key cultural site in Uganda. It was visited and documented by foreign explorers and missionaries from as early as the late 1870s. The heritage site gained in significance when in 1905 it was remodelled to cater for the re-burial of Kabaka Mwanga II. Traditionally each Kabaka (King) was interned in his palace, but this was the first time in history that two Kabakas were interned in the same Palace. Photographic documentation has existed since the time of the first visits to Buganda by European explorers. Further evidence of the Tombs after the 1938 remodelling is widely available. More recently, organizations such as CyArk have produced X-Ray photos, which have helped to ascertain interior conditions and settings. This information has been useful in generating as-built conditions. Oral and spiritual consultants have played a prominent role in providing historic records of the site. Because their knowledge involves time-travel experiences, the information they provide does not necessarily adhere to a linear sense of time or hierarchy. However, books, articles, videos and websites have also formed part of the research. ● The Baganda by Rev. J. Roscoe (1965) ● My African Journey by W. Churchill (1908)  ● Origin of Kingship Traditions and Symbolism in the Great Lakes Region by B. Farelius (2008)  ● The Royal Capital of Buganda by P. Gutkind (1963)  ● Fortunes of Africa: 5000 years history, wealth, greed and endeavour by M. Meredith (2015)  ● The Masque of Africa, Glimpses of African Belief by V.S. Naipaul (2010)  ● In Love with Uganda Oil and Bunyoro Clans by Yolamu Nooleriire Nsamba (2017)  The site of the Kasubi Tombs is situated on one of the hills that define Kampala, known as Nabulagala. It is situated northwest of the city centre (0o 19’ 45”N, 320 33’ 12”E). It occupies 64 acres and offers one of the few remaining green spaces in Kampala’s urban context. The current size of the Kasubi Tombs site is a shadow of its original size, which once stretched towards Makerere University to the east and northwards to the River Lubigi. The land lost to the site is now occupied by urban sprawl, the density of which poses a real and constant threat of engulfing the remaining 64 acres. It is important to understand that the Palace at Kasubi was the genesis of the capital city of Kampala, and thus it is highly relevant within the urban context in terms of installations and infrastructure. The tombs within the 64-acre site consist of an ensemble of key structures that surround a carefully manicured court (embuga/city), which is used to describe a city within an urban 1


ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction

context. The ensemble of structures begins with the gatehouse, Bujjabukula, which is on axis with the main house, Muzibu Azaala Mpanga. This axis splits the court in two: black and white, Yin and Yang. This concept in Baganda culture refers to the black part as Walumbe, the priest of death, or he who takes away the spirit; and the white part as Mukasa, the priest of giving, or he who brings back the spirit or life. The Bawenda (children) and Basimbiri (parents/grandparents) alternate lines. This is the first interface of the intangible attributes that spiritually influence activities and rituals. The next structure is the drum house, ndoga obukaba, where all the drums used for transmitting messages during various ritual occasions are stored. The most important drum is used whenever a prince or princess enters the site via Bujjabukula. The drum is hit to produce a muffled thumping sound. The other structures surrounding the court (embuga/ oluggya) are: I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX.

Katalama Njagala – Kasaayi Gazimbye Bakyawa Bakumba Mawume Dinnakiga – Agatti Luvumbi Nnalinya Omukulu

Some of these buildings specifically house the “Twins” of the internal Kabakas. Each Kabaka has a double, or twin, who remains on earth after the Kabaka disappears (note that kings do not die, but rather they are lost in the kibira, or forest). On either side of the axis are the other “twins” houses, enyumba za balongo: Abalongo Abasimbiri on the left of the entry axis and Abalongo Abawenda on the right side. Also on the left side is the Kajjaga, the “twins” dress house. Within the court is the Kyooto, the sacred fireplace, which denotes life of the Kabaka. These are the main historic structures screened off by reed fences. The Kasubi Tombs is a living site. It is also the major spiritual and political epicentre for the Ganda people. The buildings themselves, including Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, are essentially “vessels” that transmit spiritual essence (mwooyo) from the past, present and after life, and therefore the numerous associated rituals remain relevant to the present day. An outstanding aspect of the site’s intangible attributes is that women carry out the majority of these rituals. All the lost (i.e. dead) kings (Ssekabakas) have a Nnalinya, which is a senior princess who represents a particular King/Kabaka within the tombs. The houses around the court and behind the ensemble of structures are occupied strictly by women. No man is allowed to remain within after dusk. All the four kings interned at Kasubi have a “twin”, or a double. This twin is built over years from the king’s umbilical cord and is dried and woven with fabric and decorated with colourful beads. The twins are “dressed” in the Kajjaga house, which is thatched by Bagirinya (decorators) of the Ngo (Leopard) clan. These “twins” have caretakers or custodians who look after them. The kings’ twins have their own houses with specific rooms and beds where they come out only during specific rituals or ceremonies. Other intangible attributes of the site are the numerous clans associated with it and the duties carried out within the royal court – for example, by the Mugema of the monkey clan and Musolooza, the caretaker of the ekyooto/ fireplace of the Egret bird clan.

2


ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction

The Kasubi Tombs were inscribed in 2001 under the following criteria: (i) The Kasubi Tombs site is a masterpiece of human creativity both in its conception and its execution; (iii) The Kasubi Tombs site bears eloquent witness to the living cultural traditions of the Baganda (e.g. thatching technique, spatial organisation, a living site); (iv) The spatial organization of the Kasubi Tombs site represents the best extant example of a Baganda palace/architectural ensemble. Built in the finest traditions of Ganda architecture and palace design, it reflects technical achievements developed over many centuries; (vi) The built and natural elements of the Kasubi Tombs site are charged with historical, traditional, and spiritual values. It is a major spiritual centre for the Baganda and is the most active religious place in the kingdom. These inscriptions apply to both the heritage resource and the broader context of the site. The inscriptions recorded an inventory that was not so detailed, but offered enough to express the significant features and defining attributes of the site. For example, the statement for criteria (iii), that ‘the Kasubi tombs site bears eloquent witness to the living cultural tradition of the Baganda’, attests to the intangible activities associated with acquiring the materials and also rituals expected of those working on the buildings. The spatial organisation represents the best surviving example of a Buganda palace architectural ensemble, reflecting technical achievements developed over many centuries. The built and natural elements of the Kasubi Tombs site are charged with historical, traditional and spiritual values. It is the major spiritual centre for the Baganda and the most active religious place in the Kingdom. This information and brief description of the official inscriptions has been helpful to the recovery process. Referring to the inscription criteria, there was indication of what needed to be followed and in which order. It is important to take account of the challenges of working within a culture of oral traditions in which anything is subject to alteration and change. The inscription criteria were essential in directing the recovery process, but only to a certain extent. Further reference was sought from the “Masengere” meetings with past Kabakas and mediums for guidance. (Note that the word masengere comes from the stones that the first Kabaka Kintu sat upon with his founder Bataka (clan heads) to formulate the norms and traditions of Ganda culture. A meeting held where a past King presides is therefore called Masengere.) The inscription plays a vital role in supporting the resource’s cultural significance. Inscription criteria (iii), (iv) and (vi) imply conservation and management policies, and these have been taken into account during the recovery process. Scholarly literature on the tombs, especially on Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, exists, but it is patchy and at times inaccurate or inconclusive. In other areas it touches on specific elements and one must consult widely to build a comprehensive picture of the Kasubi tombs. In most scholarly literature, the unrecognized attributes are the construction, methodology, rituals, responsibilities of the associated clans, sources of materials and consultations with mediums. 3


ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction

The heritage resource is spiritually and politically important to the resident population. To a wider audience, it is of interest and many outsiders marvel at the effects it has on those directly concerned, namely the Baganda. The identities, values and attributes to the local community can be summarized as follows: a) Concepts of tangible and intangible heritage coexist, and are mainly transmitted from one generation to the next through the rotation of the ‘wives’, who maintain the physical aspect and nourish the spiritual elements that inhabit these spaces. b) The inscription of the site on the World Heritage List has had a significant impact on the site, and in particular on its “brand”. Locally, it was known for its traditional and cultural status. The inscription, however, renewed and increased interest from the international community. The impact of UNESCO led to the involvement of state party organs, such as the National Museum, which enhanced the monitoring of the site. c) There are also social, cultural and ritual practices associated with the site. The intangible heritage of the Tombs is important to the continuity of the heritage value. The social environment on site has significant value: for example, the interaction and daily activities of the “wives”; communication with and looking after the deceased “spiritual realm”; royal burial ceremonies and associated rituals; new moon ceremonies; consultation with the abakongozi (mediums); and visits from an array of medicine men and traditional doctors who come to consult with the kings’ spirits for guidance or blessings. d) There are special ritual practices associated with the reconstruction. Some of these are as follows. The first ritual is called okukansira, to cleanse. This is carried out by the children of a Princess called Naava for girls and Saava for boys. Their roles are delicate because they extend to carrying out cleansing rituals for all members of the community entering the Tombs. The Naava’s prepare a solution of water and ekyoogo (herbs), which they apply onto outsiders entering the sacred structure, sprinkling the water via a bunch of twigs. In situations that may have dire consequences (e.g. access to the Kibira (forest) or to the Kings’ chambers), those who have had access to the opposite sex must fully wash with ekyoogo solution. There are also official and ceremonial activities carried out by the Mugema we mbiri (the protector of the palaces). He is from the Nkima (monkey) clan and he must okutema omukwero, which is to cleanse the foundations before any work can commence. The next stage is to okutema Sserugatika/Ddamula, which is to carry out the rituals and bring the mahkabia (central pole or column) that will ‘pierce’ the okulasa akasolya (roof), essentially creating a foundation in the air. This ritual involves identifying a tree from the village in Kyaggwe district where the builder of the Kasubi Tombs, Kabaka Mutesa I, was born and raised. As a technical person, I carried out the activity of identifying the tree. Various rituals were carried out through the night and the tree was uprooted with bare hands by Abatabazi (warriors). By first soaking the ground with traditional beer to loosen the roots, not a single root had to be removed from the tree. The tree was then delivered to Kasubi Tombs, almost 45 kilometres away. It had to be carried by hand and was not allowed to touch the ground, otherwise a heavy fine would be levied and the entire process would need to be repeated.

4


ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction

Several rituals were carried out prior to the erection of the central pole/ Ddamula. The outstanding ritual ceremony by the Mugema is okusala ekisaasi, which may be loosely translated as cutting and trimming the front or lower wankaki (thatch) prior to opening the house once it is completed. This is carried out together with royals (princes, princesses and the Naava’s). A myriad of other rituals and functions are undertaken. In some cases, knowledge is passed on via hereditary clan leadership. If there is doubt, Bataka (clan leaders) call for a Masengere, which is a grand consultative meeting chaired by mediums who offer a way forward on specific issues. History, Ownership and Environment of Muzibu Azaala Mpanga (Main House) ● Original construction: 1882, by Kabaka Muteesa I ● First alteration: 1905, by the Regents of Kabaka Chwa II  ● Second modification: 1938, by Kabaka Chwa II   The first major modification was carried out in 1905 to reduce the size of the structure. This was executed while the body of Kabaka Mwanga II (Mutesa I’s son) was being returned from the Seychelles. The first conservation policies were developed at this stage. Both Kabaka Mutesa I’s wives and his son Mwanga II had to live in the same environment. This was the first tomb to have two kings, which posed a challenge and major dilemma, which continues to the present. Kabaka Chwa II carried out the second major modification was in 1938. This introduced new materials to reduce the costs of maintenance and to enlarge the reception areas where subjects came to pay homage. To achieve this, concrete and steel were used for the first time. The height of the Tombs (Muzibu Azaala Mpanga) was also dramatically reduced, from a height of 16 meters to approximately 10 meters. Currently, the conditions of the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga are those of a site in danger, and it is undergoing reconstruction. The major vulnerability that the site faces during reconstruction is fire. A lack of financial resources for completing the project poses another challenge. Ownership of the heritage site remains unchanged from before the impacting event. The inscription of the site in 2001, however, created two other parties that have a stake in the affairs of this site, namely the State Party Uganda and UNESCO. The state party was involved in the management of the site from 1967 to 1993, prior to its inscription. The physical context of the resource is urban, but with nearly 80% of the enclosed land being open landscape that is used for farming with traditional methods and as burial grounds. Situated on one of Kampala’s sprawling hills, the morphology of the resource and surrounding context has evolved and shrunk over the past 135 years. Based on maps prepared in 1900 of the original Palace grounds, the site has undergone its own “natural selection”. Only the essential structures that affect the daily cultural and spiritual events were left standing. With the advent of land redistribution in 1900, the royal grounds were reduced to 64 acres and demarcated by mituba (ficus natalensis), which is a bark-cloth producing tree that is used for producing fabric for traditional dress.

5


ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction

Planned and mainly unplanned urban growth has put considerable pressure on the heritage site. There has been urban encroachment and felling of indigenous trees. Without the inscription in 2001 (which has acted as an insurance), more would have been lost. Muzibu Azaala Mpanga is located in an inhabited territory. The presence of a resident population has been positive, since it is a living site. Other similar sites that have not benefitted from emphasis of these intangible factors have fallen into a state of disrepair. Since its original creation, the immediate setting of the site has changed dramatically. It is now a mausoleum and no longer a palace, and so the rituals have changed. There is more preservation, homage, cultural and physical conservation. The size and scale of the site has been reduced. The social structure within the heritage resource is clearly defined. The Nnalinya (senior Princess) who is the heiress of the Kabaka’s sister (Lubuga) is allegedly the head of the site. After further research into the matter, however, this claim is now disputed. There is a prince who is culturally responsible for all these affairs. The unique situation at Kasubi is that there are four Kabakas buried, and each has a Nnalinya. Each Nnalinya has a descendant of the last Katikkiro (Prime Minister) at the time of that particular Kabaka’s reign. This creates a power struggle. In terms of hierarchy, there is the Nnalinya, Katikkiro, and the specific wives with specific duties (note that these wives also undertake successive roles, which are handed down to them, and they perform their roles at designated times prior to a change of guard). There is also the Musenero (chief brewer), the Musolooza (fireplace guardian, who keeps it burning), the Nsigo (palace gatekeeper) and the Mulamba (gatekeeper and guard). Additionally, there is the role of hereditary Prince who takes charge of the general wellbeing of the wives. There are specific roles among the wives, mainly of taking care of the Kabaka’s Abalongo (twins) and performing special rituals when the ‘twins’ are brought outside (okwalula abalongo). This is a very important ceremony and outsiders must bring particular gifts in order to view the twins. There is also the ‘wife’ Luyiga who is in charge of general repairs and decoration of the palace with bark cloth. All the above-mentioned aspects and titleholders have played a sizeable role in the reconstruction process, at times negatively and at others positively. They have caused a need for considerable research and consultation from all spiritual tiers to find solutions and answers. There is a shared cultural understanding as previously described above (roles). 2. The Nature of the Impacting Event (The Fire) The nature of the traumatic event was a fire. The Commission of Inquiry set up by the state party determined that the cause of the fire was human. The devastating fire at the Kasubi Tombs is not unique. Many other palaces have been burnt in the past. Kasubi, however, had withstood many civil wars and uprisings, but had always remained protected.

6


ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction

The area affected is the main “jewel” of the ensemble, the Muzibu Azaala Mpanga. The impact of the fire has been felt by a wide range of actors outside the physical site itself, including the neighbouring commercial hubs and markets and national tourism. Tour guides stationed at the site and the wives who benefitted from the daily visitor donations have also been affected. Social impacts include the challenge to determine dates for burials; and the vacuum in cultural leadership has strained activities and relationships. The impacts of the trauma on the significant defining elements of the heritage resource are relevant. The traumatic event has served to galvanise understanding about the significance of the resource. The shift in perception that can be reported with regards to values and priorities is the increased interest in the heritage resource. This interest surpasses levels of interest prior to the fire. Many organs, and more importantly the younger generation, have played a critical role in promoting the reconstruction of the Tombs. 3. Post-Event Appraisal Since the impacting event, the existing social and economic conditions at the Kasubi Tombs are strained. In the post trauma phase, there is belief within the community that there must be available money since this is a World Heritage site. This has sparked a unique power struggle amongst the Nnalinyas and the ‘wives’. This has also resulted in direct confrontation with the Kingdom’s administration, which at times has required the Kabaka to personally intervene. There are those who exploited the post-trauma phase to the extent of creating false cultural customs. These acts were only resisted as a result of the research that I undertook and because of the constant consultation with elders, clan leaders and mediums. The current state of affairs at the site is calm and works are progressing without hindrance. Currently, a management plan is in place for managing the site between the State Party and the Kingdom. Most of the recommendations were hard to implement and enforce due to the stubbornness of some stakeholders. Nevertheless, many of the recommendations are now under review. The site is indirectly monitored by the Kabaka’s office, but the welfare of the “wives” is the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture in the Kingdom. Traditionally, the key agents/stakeholders are as follows: i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi.

Kabaka Senior Prince Nnalinya (of Kabaka Mutesa I, the palace builder) Custodian Prince Katikkiro of Kasubi (descendant of the original Kabaka’s Katikkiro) Wives

A unique factor at the Kasubi Tombs in comparison to other mausoleums is that there are three other Nnalinyas and three other Katikkiros (Prime Ministers), all of who feel marginalized. In the post-trauma period, the communication channels are as follows: 7


ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction

The Kabaka is the overall final arbiter. His Katikkiro receives advice from the Minister of Culture, who in turn is reported to by the Chairman of the Reconstruction Committee. The Chairman is advised by the Project Manager/Architect. The Project Manager has direct access to all parties including the State Party committees, which he advises via the National Technical Committee. The National Technical Committee reports to the various bodies under UNESCO through the Commissioner of Museums and Monuments. There is a shared cultural understanding among the decision makers and those involved in the institutional framework. The history of the resource, together with its social and political importance, is understood nationally. 4. Response Actions, Timeframes, Resources and Costs The effects of the trauma were felt immediately. Reporting on the damage was also immediate, via radio bulletins, television coverage and the Internet. Emergency repairs of the graves were reported in case of protracted or repeated traumatic events. Emergency protection measures have been put in place. Most critical was the “housing” of the four Kabakas because the general public started accessing the graves. These events further enhanced the sacredness of the destroyed structure. Although they delayed the start of the reconstruction process, these events had the effect of increasing public appreciation for whole process. Emergency documentation was collected in the form of photographs, reports and artefact remains. These were shared by the stakeholders. Newly-created post-trauma narratives could be reported. This was achieved by interviewing stakeholders. An appraisal has been carried out in written form, with post-trauma documentation and national workshops, in terms of post-event analysis. A series of events have been held to discuss and outline the actual course of the decline at the site, which may lead to possibly the calamity. Both the level of damage and the recoverability options have been assessed. Options have been assessed in written form combined with photographs and drawings, and these findings have been shared with stakeholders and the local community. The assessments considered the intangible dimensions of the heritage resource. The intangible dimensions of cleansing (which is a means of preserving) is paramount to safeguarding the ruins. Other intangible factors were incorporated with the reconstruction of the ‘twin’ houses, which had fallen into a state of disrepair over a period of time. Further intangible factors included rituals and open ceremonies to appease and inform the ancestors and former Kabakas of the catastrophe. 8


ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction

A hierarchy of significance-defining elements was established with the guidance of stakeholders and the project manager/architect. It happened after the traumatic events. Further to this, the OUVs related to the inscription became significant in the process. Post-Trauma Documentation The post- trauma documentation that was prepared consisted of: a) Survey documents and ruins of the site; b) Collecting and archiving destroyed artefacts; c) Collections of historic records and reference material, which consisted mainly of photographs and written articles; d) Production of “as-built� drawings; e) Materials research; f) Research on previous models of the building (i.e. 1905, 1938) and the significance to destroyed built models OUVs. The project manager/architect and site manager carried out most of the above tasks with the assistance of various stakeholders. The main objective was to attain and ascertain to the greatest extent possible the authenticity of what was destroyed before starting reconstruction. The main challenge to the recovery process has been getting the correct technical information for the building’s construction (all of the individuals who built the tombs in 1938 are deceased). The social aspects also became strained because the authenticity of the information had to be verified at different levels of the tangible and intangible spectrum. The financial challenges were not significant in the beginning, but became so when the emergency works and cleansing ceremonies and rituals commenced. With regard to decision-making, this has been a protracted battle, which was only opened once the mediums and clan heads entered the foray. In the case of the Kasubi Tombs, what is understood is the recovery of the destroyed structure in terms of: a) Tangible aspect b) And, more importantly, the transition of the spiritual realm within the post-trauma period. The project manager/architect devised this recovery programme. The guiding principles of the recovery were grounded in the UNESCO WH inscription criteria. This has served to freeze the OUV, the pre-trauma conditions and to recover the original conditions. The conservation of post-trauma conditions has been enabled by the OUV. A variety of options for the recovery have been considered and discussed. This has involved the review of all built models with the aid of photographs, drawings, etchings and written 9


ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction

records. Some stakeholders had suggested changing the grass used for the thatching and, among the extreme suggestions, others expressed wishes to tile the roof and plant grass in the courtyard. Decisions were taken using the OUVs of the resource and the inscription as guiding principles. This allowed for an impartial decision-making formula. The aim of recovery of the heritage resource has been clarified, shared and agreed upon among the stakeholders. This was achieved through numerous consultations and workshops with both the local and international communities. The agenda for recovery was to safeguard the culture and norms of the stakeholder tribe. The other overriding agenda was to make sure that the four Kabakas were not exposed to the elements, since this is a taboo. The original recovery timetable was two years. The specific recovery programme for the resource and overall recovery plans have been affected by: a) Financial constraints b) The implementation of logical steps in the interpretation and execution of the various rituals, consultations and ceremonies in the recovery of the intangible realm.  New emergent values such as new OUV from new discoveries can be documented in the post-event appraisal phase. Sustainability concerns in terms of acquiring vegetal materials have also contributed to defining the programme. The financial implications for supporting the human and social aspects of the project have also been considered and felt. The stakeholders are aware and at times did not comprehend this paradox of why the clan Totem system was created and developed to protect both animals and the environment. Capacity building has been a fundamental aspect of the planned recovery programme. This has been achieved by training the younger generation. Availability of funding is the main driver for the recovery programme. Financial grants (e.g. emergency funds from the WHC) initiated the process of emergency works, which in turn inspired other local actors to contribute, including the State Party. The local communities and stakeholders have been involved in the preparations. In the main, this included the preparation of rituals and funding their costs; acquiring building materials (identification); and research into the methods and about existing experts. After the catastrophic fire, special committees were created. They included finance, security and research. The main committee was that of Culture and Reconstruction. This committee helped with the initial identification of the rituals, and putting together a programme for the reconstruction. 10


ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction

The roles played by national and regional institutions, international organisations and donors and related agencies in terms of offering advice, financial commitment and expertise, have varied in terms of the “weight” of the organisation. The role of building contractors in this project was minimal and, in the end, their participation was terminated due to the associated high cost in relation to a traditional construction project. The main contractor would get a percentage on the total cost of works carried out by artisans. This was not sustainable. The post-trauma governance framework has included the establishment of emergency measures to combat and to prepare for fire related incidents. The police and fire brigade have carried out increased training in preparedness with stakeholders and artisans. A solar farm was created within the grounds to provide light at night and thereby avoid the need for using lanterns and candles. Specially constructed external kitchens have been built to reduce the need of the ‘wives’ to cook inside their houses. The responsible agencies in the post-trauma situation were as follows: a) Buganda Kingdom (Kabaka’s office) b) National Technical Committee c) Cabinet of Government d) Advisory from UNESCO The chain of command:

As the Project Manager, my role has included and continues to include (among other duties): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Preparation of reconstruction documentation; Research of built documentation/ photos; Research in availability of materials; Assembling and authenticating artisans and experts; Authenticating traditional experts and advisors; Researching and advising on rituals and those executing them; Attending any meeting or sessions with: a) Kabaka b) state party organs, inclusive of ministers c) clan heads d) royal members e) mediums 11


ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction

f) artisans; 8. Conflict resolution, mediation and advising any of the above. The implementation of the programme took into consideration the tangible reconstruction elements together with the time needed to undertake intangible aspects of the heritage resource. The actual time frames were to last at least two years. This would include the frame, which was to take 30% of the time, and the traditional (including thatching), which would take the remaining 70%. Technical, organisational, institutional and human capacities were available. Discrepancies between planned and actual objectives were reported as the works progressed. The estimated time for removing the damaged debris and re-building of the structure took longer due to the rituals involved and the research required. The programme and the recovery works were (and are) being executed under conditions of political and social pressure and shortage of funds. This has slowed down the physical execution on site. The costs of materials, skills and future maintenance have been taken into account in the planning and implementation phases. Local communities have been fully involved in the implementation phase. They participate or witness all activities undertaken. Changes have occurred between the planned programme and implemented actions. Reasons were at times due to technical or intangible aspects, but more often they were related to budgets. Examples of these included the re-building of the ‘twins’ houses and identifying the correct traditional protagonists to undertake the works. The programme was executed in terms of physical deliverables (taking into consideration the intangible and social implications). The sustainability concerns were/have been taken into account in this phase, and continue to guide decisions in relation to the time needed to complete the re construction. Critically, the major link with the wider recovery objectives was the authenticity of all actions and deliverables (for example, the correct traditional office bearers needed to understand the works and rituals). The interventional actors were, in principle, the restorers and artisans. To an extent, local communities have been included. The artisans in particular have played a key role in delivering the required outcomes. This process has been seamless as a result of following the OUV listed with the inscription of the tombs.

12


ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction

5. The Outcomes and Effects New emerging values can and will be presented in due course. However, we also feel that all attributes have been maintained and preserved as we complete the reconstruction. A successful approach and initial recovery of the critical aspects of the heritage resource included such actions as determining the meanings of the floor layouts and discovering new information regarding the original 1872 model of the site. The actors were very effective with the process, as illustrated in the previous sections of this report. The views are collective in terms of the overall achievements; but failures generate conflicting views among the various stakeholders. This has been clear in terms of exposing ill-informed rituals and practices. All attributes and features supporting the cultural significance have been recovered. Imagery and details which were destroyed have been identified via archived sources from various international and local sites. New attributes and features have emerged during the trauma and recovery process. For example, we discovered two separate layers of the previous models during the excavation process of the foundation. The shortcomings in all this have been the scarcity of materials and the lack of funding. For example, most vegetal materials are not easily located within the Kingdom. The downstream consequences that have emerged from the implementation of the recovery programme are the production of solid, viable, authentic records; cultural and spiritual consultation records, and a deeper understanding of risk management. Planned sustainability objectives continue to be pursued until the completion of the reconstruction phase. The results of the recovery programme are shared amongst stakeholders via reports and meetings. The entire recovery process and the search for authenticity have ultimately been appreciated by all stakeholders. Documentation for the actual recovery was built upon some existing records, but more so upon new research and actual physical and spiritual interventions at the site. The process has been documented by photographic records, national news, stakeholders’ reports, UNESCO missions, and others. New information of other intangible and tangible information has been produced during the recovery phase and has been shared amongst all interested parties. Most of this information also links to a review of the resource’s OUV and its context. The documentation and new information will inform future actions in terms of safety, the role of rituals, technical aspects and, above all, the spiritual implications, thereby improving the level of effectiveness. Consultations have been made with the original builders through the 13


ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction

masegere meetings to gather as much of the missing information as possible in order to complete the documentation process. 7. Details of the Expert Jonathan E. Nsubuga Member of Uganda Society of Architects BAid (Interior Design) RIBA 1 RIBA 11 AA Diploma (Architect) Roles in the recovery & reconstruction project: a) Architect with overall responsibilities in survey work on the destroyed heritage resource. b) Research and preparation of architectural and other historical documentation. c) Coordination of traditional and spiritual components in relation to the built realm. d) Managing and coordinating reconstruction activities with a plethora of bodies. e) I commenced work on this project in March 2010, which continues until the present.

14

Profile for ICOMOS International Council on Monuments and Sites

Nsubuga, Jonathan E.- ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction - Kasubi Tombs  

The Kasubi Tombs constitute a key cultural site in Uganda. It was visited and documented by foreign explorers and missionaries from as early...

Nsubuga, Jonathan E.- ICOMOS Global Case Study Project on Reconstruction - Kasubi Tombs  

The Kasubi Tombs constitute a key cultural site in Uganda. It was visited and documented by foreign explorers and missionaries from as early...

Profile for icomos
Advertisement