Historic cultural beadwork collection declared as heritage

A historic collection of African beads originating from the Eastern Cape have been declared a heritage property of South Africa and will be unveiled on 18 March 2016 (08h30) at the Water Sisulu University by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa.

The beadworks referred to as the Broster Beadwork Collection comprises many objects that are significant in furthering the knowledge and understanding of the cultural heritage of Southern Nguni peoples in the Eastern Cape.

“It is a very important milestone for the country and it opens many other doors for similar culturally historic objects to apply for a declaration. We invite researchers to study the intellectual prowess of the planning and weaving of the beadwork so that we can better understand the social state at the time” says Adv Soneabile Mancotywa of the National Heritage Council.

This declaration of the Broster Beadwork Collection means that they are now part of the national estate and should not be taken out of the country or sold without following the proper legal channels. Any person or organisation who may be found to be contravening the heritage protection law will face legal charges.

The National Heritage Council (NHC) has joined hands with the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) and Walter Sisulu University (WSU) to preserve these historic objects for future generations.

An information booklet the details the history of the Collection is produced and available to the public through the website of the NHC.  The booklet is also available in isiXhosa.

We encourage communities in South Africa to take interest and explore the opportunity to have historic objects that contributes to defining our heritage, researched and possibly declared as heritage objects.


Download: Broster Beadwork Collection Booklet



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