The Masara Oral Arts Project (MOAP) is committed to researching, archiving and sharing oral art forms by means of which African communities engage their socio-economic and natural environment.
President Cyril Ramaphosa observed on Heritage Day in 2021 that “We must become our own historians. Our elders and our cultural practitioners […] have a wealth of information, and we must tell their stories […] Someday, our children will pass this on to their own children who may themselves become cultural practitioners, authors, filmmakers, museum curators and tour guides.”
MOAP is accordingly particularly concerned with the application of all southern African forms of spoken, sung and embodied art (dance and theatre) in language acquisition, indigenous knowledge and culture, education and training, arts policy and practice, and cultural tourism.
The symbol of MOAP is Sankambe (Venda) or Shuro (Shona), the hare. Hare is one of several regional forms of the ancient narrative trickster. Its contemporary carved form symbolises the perpetual artistic construction of social life, and MOAP’s focus accordingly encompasses historical as well as evolving forms, including those which integrate orality, literacy and new technologies.