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Ongoing FHYA collaboration with the KwaZulu-Natal Museum

4 Oct 2019 - 10:30
Necklet from the Franz Mayr Collection at the KwaZulu-Natal Museum. Photo courtesy of the FHYA.
Necklet from the Franz Mayr Collection at the KwaZulu-Natal Museum. Photo courtesy of the FHYA.

 

In late August 2019, Carolyn Hamilton, visited the KwaZulu-Natal Museum, Pietermaritzburg, to undertake follow-up research on two aspects of the APC’S Five Hundred Year Archive’s work with this institutional partner.

Hamilton and Dr Gavin Whitelaw, a chief curator in the Department of Human Sciences in the museum, worked on clarifying further the history of the excavations at uMgungundlovu, the capital of the Zulu king, Dingane. Hamilton also worked with Dr Justine Wintjes, curator in the Department of Human Sciences, and Research Technician, Dimakatso Tlhoaele, on items in the Anthropological Collection, collected by Father Franz Mayr between c. 1899 and 1909. She took the opportunity to view other items pertinent to the history of the KZN region, notably two rare iziqu necklets, awarded by the Zulu kings for bravery in battle.

This gem of an institution thrives quietly in Pietermaritzburg. Its regular Museum Nights are stand-out events attracting large crowds, the collections are expertly managed, and research is flourishing. For those who do not know the institution, it is well worth a visit. The journal Southern African Humanities, published annually out the Museum under the editorship of Whitelaw, is one of the leading journal relevant to the southern African past before European colonialism. APC research associate, John Wright is a member of the editorial board. The journal can be consulted at www.sahumanities.org/ojs/.