National Cultural History Museum, Pretoria
Did you know?
Rock art showcased in the National Culural History Museum reflects the accessing of spiritual power by the San people through their trance dance.
The National Cultural History Museum in Pretoria is housed in the Old Mint, a building of historical importance in South Africa's capital city. Coins may no longer be produced here, but the new inhabitants of the building - wide-ranging cultural and natural displays, and prized South African artworks - are just as valuable.
So diverse are the National Cultural History Museum's collections that any visitor is guaranteed to find an exhibit or two to offer hours of absorbing viewing. One exhibit, titled 'Schroda' after a site in the ancient kingdom of Mapungubwe, displays early Iron Age clay figurines excavated from this World Heritage Site in the province of Limpopo. Over 1 000 years old, the sculptures relate to cultural practices such as initiation and lobola.
There is also a large display of rock art - both paintings and engravings, with shamanic scenes in which trance is used to ascend to a spiritual world.
Works of iconic figures of the South African art world - JH Pierneef, Coert Steynberg and Noria Mabasa to mention just a few - are displayed in the 'Fusion through Art' display at the cultural history museum in Pretoria. These galleries are hung with the artists' perceptions and interpretations of the local landscape. South African crafts are also given exposure in a separate display which includes beading, weaving, basketry and embroidery.
Delving into recent apartheid history, there's a display on the forced removals of the Indian, African and Asian populations from the neighbourhoods of Lady Selborne and Marabastad in the 1960s.
The Pretoria Cultural History Museum, a member of the Ditsong Museums, a group of 8 Gauteng-based museums, also hosts a continuous schedule of temporary exhibitions and, with some 5 million objects stored, showcases its collections in an ongoing programme of themed displays.
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Who to contact
Contact National Cultural History Museum
Tel: +27 12 324 6082
Fax: +27 12 328 5173
08h00 - 16h00 7 days a week