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The Role of Women in the Transmission of Heritage

Cambridge Heritage Research Group Seminars
When Oct 25, 2018
from 01:00 PM to 02:00 PM
Where Seminar Room, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Contact Name
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The Role of Women in the Transmission of Heritage

Dr Shadia Taha, Fellow of Wolfson College

The Role of Women in the Transmission of Heritage

In the first Heritage Research Group Seminar of the new academic year, Dr Shadia Taha considered the role of women in the transmission of heritage in Sudan.


In Sudanese culture frankincense, aromatic woods and perfume oils are principal components for traditional cosmetics, skincare and perfumes. In addition, incense is used for medicinal purposes and in cultural, religious and funerary practices in ancient and contemporary times. Incense is an essential element in all cultural and social rituals and ceremonies. Practices and experiences endued from generation to generation and are still on going, as this research illustrates.

This talk will examine the use of Frankincense in Sudan. The study explores the role of social and cultural practices in the continuity of culture and suggests that women play a key role in the transmission of skills, traditional knowledge and cultural practices; a completely under-researched subject in Sudan. The paper argues that incense use is a living cultural heritage, part and parcel of Sudanese everyday life and is profoundly entrenched in all social, cultural practices and customs.

Dr Shadia Taha is a Tutor and Fellow at Wolfson College, and an Affiliated Research Scholar at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge. She is currently a Research Assistant with the Civilisation in Contact Project and a Research Associate with the Indian Ocean World Centre.

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The CHRC is a collaboration of six departments. This is symbolized through six stripes in Cambridge Blue in the CHRC logo. The mesh-work arising from the darker stripes represents the collaboration of the CHRC and the heritage field at large.