Welcome to the Encyclopaedia of South African, Arts, Culture and Heritage - where anyone can contribute to the record of our culture.
The Encyclopaedia of South African Arts, Culture and Heritage (ESAACH) is an encyclopaedia intended to address the dearth of reference material in South African arts, culture and heritage studies. The encyclopaedia is divided into four broad research areas:
- The verbal arts (orature, poetry, drama, prose fiction, biography, children’s literature etc.)
- The performing arts (music, dance, theatre, film, video etc.)
- The visual arts (painting, sculpture, graphic art, photography, drawing, mural painting, paper works, tapestry, fibre art, installation works, computer graphics, fashion design, crafts, etc.)
- Heritage (including rites of passage, indigenous knowledge systems, belief systems, value systems such as ubuntu, customs and traditions, various other cultural practices)
The verbal arts section is currently the most developed thanks to partnerships with the Encyclopaedia of South African Literature and KZN Literary Tourism.
The online component takes the form of a wiki. The idea behind using this type of software is that members of the public - including but not limited to the academic and arts communities - can register accounts and submit or edit content that they may have expert or specialist knowledge of. These submissions can then be used to develop entries in the printed version of the encyclopaedia or used as reference in the online encyclopaedia. All content is freely available online, released under a Creative Commons licence.