Members of the recently-formed Ngoba Wilderness Group (NWG), from the amaNgwane Traditional Authority Area near Bergville, visited the Museum on 26 April on the invitation of the Museum’s Department of Human Sciences. The visit was arranged so that the members of the NWG could see firsthand what the Museum does and how it is linked to natural and cultural resources.
The NWG was formed by the Ngoba community in order to increase awareness of their natural resources and to take steps to turn these resources to the advantage of the community through, for example, tourism. Besides these natural resources, however, are also remnants of the heritage of Bushman groups who lived and painted in the area before the arrival of the amaNgwane. These rock art painting sites are not well known to rock art researchers and the KZN Museum is keen to include these ‘new’ sites on their database. More importantly, the new rock art data from Ngoba has the potential to create new research questions.
The NWG guests were taken on a tour of the Museum galleries by Museum Information Officer, Sandile Cele and the curator of rock art, Jeremy Hollmann. The visitors were also treated to a behind the scenes tour, into the Archaeology Storeroom in which rock art, tracings and photographs of rock art are stored. After the tour of the Museum and a late lunch the visitors were transported back to Ngoba. We hope that the NWG members have a better idea about the role of museums and their importance in recording and understanding our heritage and we look forward to continued co-operation with them.