Anthropological Collections

  • A large collection of Zulu material culture including beadwork, woodcarvings, ceramics, and weaponry. The beadwork collection is rated as one of the most comprehensive and well-researched in South Africa. Also important is a small but valuable collection of nineteenth-century items associated with Zulu royalty: ceramic vessels and four strings of wooden beads, iziqu, apparently awarded for valour in battle. A well-documented assemblage of headrests, milk pails and meat platters from Msinga in KwaZulu-Natal makes up the Jolles Collection, gathered by museum research associate Professor Frank Jolles in the 1990s
  • A well-documented collection of Southern Sotho material culture, including an assemblage of 30 rare Southern Sotho ceramic pieces dating to the early 1900s.
  • West African material culture, including a set of Ashanti gold weights from Ghana, and woodcarvings such as masks.
  • African textile collection from beyond the provincial borders.
  • Colonial Victoriana of KwaZulu-Natal, which formed the basis of the exhibits portraying aspects of life in Victorian Pietermaritzburg.
  • Items and weaponry relating to the Anglo-Zulu War.
  • An initiative of Graham Dominy, the Amandla Collection includes material specifically associated with the anti-apartheid struggle and its consequences (banners, T-shirts, caps, buttons, and documents). Much of it comes from the Midlands: items associated with Pietermaritzburg's Seven Days War in March 1990 and township conflict on the Witwatersrand make the Museum's collection of war memorabilia of the 1800s and 1900s more comprehensive.
  • Video recording and film of "living culture" (rituals, dances, oral data etc).

            Please contact Ms Linda Ireland for any further information about these collections.
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