DOI: 10.38159/ehass.202341312 ISSN: 2720-7722

An Analysis of Climate Change Threats to Cultural Practices: A Case Study of the Dikgale Community, South Africa

Sejabaledi Agnes Rankoana
  • Automotive Engineering

Scientists and policymakers are failing to account for the influence of climate change on many facets of cultural life. Much emphasis is placed on the effects of climate change on agriculture, with less emphasis placed on how low crop and livestock output may affect socio-cultural activities. The current study investigated the effects of climate change on the socio-cultural practices of the Dikgale community in South Africa’s Limpopo Province. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 150 participants purposely selected in a rural community. The study’s findings revealed that cultural activities that foster communities’ cohesion are already under threat from the effects of climate change. Temperature fluctuations and irregular rainfall negatively impacted cultural festivities such as the First Fruit Rituals, Rain-making Rituals, Cultural Entertainments, and bride price payment. To complete the rites and meet marital requirements, subsistence crops and cattle are used. Poor subsistence crop and livestock production has left the rituals obsolete, and as a result, these customs are rarely practised and have been supplanted by western practices. If this cultural heritage is lost, rural communities will lose significant social, cultural, and economic values. The study contributes to the less documented intangible cultural heritage dimensions impacted by climate change. Keywords: Climate Change, Socio-Cultural Practices, Cultural Heritage, Limpopo Province

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