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Wherever people have travelled they have entered the land into their imagination and, insofar as this has been a collective endeavour, into their culture. But actually delimiting an area of influence for a specific culture, where it begins and ends in time, space and imagination can be a very difficult task; it requires we define who are the members of such-and-such a culture. The complexities of defining the spatial boundaries of a cultural landscape are discussed with reference to south-eastern Zimbabwe.

Pathways, such as portages, trails and roads, are an excellent representation of the ongoing process of accretion of layers of meaning in a cultural landscape. Over time, the appearance and meaning of paths change in response to natural and cultural cycles. Layers of meaning shift in their tangibility, in part depending on the perspective of who is remembering or interpreting the land.

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Nature says stop – a winter trail awaits the snowfall
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Nature says go – a stopline in the city falters