KHOEKHOE & SAN ACTIVE AWARENESS GROUP (KSAAG) http://ksaag.wordpress.com/
Dealing with education, skills development, music, drama, heritage, crafts, tourism, print media, cultural festivals, speech and language therapy, KSAAG envision creating ample opportunities to translate cultural resources into cultural capital to bring about local social development. In the field of culture development, our very own indigenous cultures are the greatest potential resource to generate cultural capital in poor rural and urban communities.
Ever since its inception, KSAAG has positioned itself favourably within the Western Cape and broader South African cultural industries, as a cultural entrepreneur with a specific focus area in Indigenous Knowledge. After being honoured with Promotion of Marginalized Indigenous Languages Award (February 2011) in the Language Category of the Culture, Heritage, Language, Libraries, Museums and Archives Awards; KSAAG has made great strides in the preservation, promotion and development of the Khoikhoi language through various cultural initiatives and projects.
All our efforts will soon bring our collective vision to life by the establishment of our very own Khoikhoi and San Languages Academy linked to skills development and job creation. Through comprehensive cultural mapping, KSAAG has identified and documented local cultural resources such as writers, poets, musicians, storytellers, dancers, historians, craft industries, distinctive landmarks, archeological sites, etc. All of these have culminated in KSAAG being able to enable communities to recognize, celebrate and support their own cultural environment.
Introduction to this Language Revitalization Programme
This initiative is the result of the foundations laid by Meester Pedro Dausab during his 10 year efforts to promote the, Basic Introduction to the Khoekhoegowab, to interested communities in Western Cape. Due to the historically diminished status of Khoekhoegowab, previously used by the people of the Western Cape, these endeavors aims to elevate the status, and advance the use, of this very important linguistic heritage. If its sister language, /Xam (a San language), is good enough to be used on the Coat of Arms of South Africa (!Ke e: /xarra //ke- “diverse people unite”), then Khoekhoegowab surely has found a place under the sun again, after years of oppression, today in the place of its origin, //Hui !Gaeb (Cape Town)! continue reading…
Nowhere in the world, with a few exceptions elsewhere, were the ill-effects of European Colonization as severe and brutal, as in the case of the genocide perpetrated against the original inhabitants of Southern Africa; the Khoe-San (Khoi-San). Viewed and treated with such disrepute; these people became the subject of scientific and anthropological curiosity, becoming the most researched people on Earth. European interests either reflected the notion that the Khoi-San were less than human, to be collected, dissected, preserved as specimens and displayed as curiosities; or a more romanticized view as the ideal “noble savage”. Amidst all these ‘fascinations’, no or very little linguistic and academic interest in the languages of the oldest known genetic carriers, were initialy shown, accept later, with writings of T. Hahn, L. Loyd, W. Bleek, etc.
Khoekhoegowab which is one of the oldest languages on the continent still in use today, had in 1997 an estimated 250 000 people speaking it. The exceptional characteristic of the Khoe-San tongue is the extensive use of click sounds; familiar to speakers of English are the interjection tsk-tsk and the click used to signal a horse. Click sounds involve the sucking action by the tongue, but the position of the tongue and the way in which air is released into the mouth vary, just as in the formation of the other sounds. Six types of clicks are known for the San languages while the Khoikhoi (Khoekhoe) languages have dental (|), palatal (!), retroflex (╪) and lateral (||) clicks.
During apartheid, indigenous identities and languages were discouraged and a process to promote the use of Afrikaans and their assimilation resulted in the loss of most indigenous peoples’ languages. Apart from a few indigenous peoples situated in very rural and remote places, the majority of indigenous groups adopted Afrikaans as the language of communication. As well, since indigenous languages were not taught in schools or used anywhere officially most became extinct or completely forgotten. In fact, it is reported that ‘children using Khoekhoe or San languages in state and church schools received corporal punishment and were forced to recant their identity’. Today indigenous peoples are still concerned that despite the gains of a democratic state, the fact that their languages and identity are not officially recognized continues to hamper their capacity and efforts to enjoy socio-economic development as well as other fundamental human rights and freedoms.
KSAAG is geared towards the Promotion of Khoekhoegowab & other Boesman-San languages
The Khoe and San Active Awareness Group (KSAAG), is a registered Community Based Organization (NPO
Reg. No: 074441), established to raise the general awareness around the preservation, promotion and development of the indigenous cultures with a dedicated interest in furthering the cause of Khoekhoegowab in the Cape and beyond. During the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Awards ceremony for ARTS, CULTURE, HERITAGE, LANGUAGE, LIBRARIES, MUSEUMS AND ARCHIVES in 2011, KSAAG Representative, Bradley van Sitters won the LANGUAGE Category for the Promotion of marginalized indigenous languages.
At the very heart of the organization, KSAAG have campaigned to increase the public knowledge around Khoekhoegowab (the most wide-spoken language amongst the Khoikhoi & San) and indigenous knowledge of Southern Africa. Amongst other things, KSAAG is launching projects to make the general public aware of, for example, the pre-colonial name, of Cape Town and other, places; like geographical, mountain and river names. KSAAG maintains that very little has been done since our new found democracy to look into processes such as self-identification as highlighted by the United Nations. Since its inception, KSAAG has as set out a programme of action in communities in and around Cape Town, targeting the youth to unpack ideas around “culture” and creating a holistic approach towards understandings thereof, and looking into the link between language, identity and culture.