The Department of Archaeology at the National Museum, Bloemfontein, is involved in several projects aimed at reconstructing the behaviour and biology of past human populations, from the start of the archaeological record in the Pliocene period up into the ethnographic present of southern Africa.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines traditional medicine (TM) as “the sum total of knowledge, skills and practices based on the theories, beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, that are used to maintain health, as well as to prevent, diagnose, improve or treat physical and mental illnesses” (WHO 2008).
I work hard every day to make my beer (umqombothi),
Wake up early every morning to please my people with African beer umqombothi),
I make sure the fire burns to make my beer (umqombothi),
My special beer umqombothi (umqombothi),
Is African beer.
We MaDlamini (everybody),
Uph’umqombothi (come and drink my),
We MaDlamini (magic beer),
(Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s hit song Umqombothi)
The manufacturing of weapons dates back to the time when humans started making functional tools with multiple purposes. These tools evolved to become some of the weapons that we know today. The earliest tool industry was Oldowan (about 2.5 to 1.2 million years ago) and it included flakes chipped off with another stone. It was followed by the Acheulean (1.6 million to 200,000 years ago), which is characterised by the hand axe. Like Oldowan, Acheulean implements were made from stone and used for multiple purposes, but the edges were much sharper and could serve many more functions (e.g. hacking wood from a tree, cutting animal carcasses as well as scraping and cutting hides). With time skills improved and more sophisticated tools/weapons were made.
Rainmaking rituals and ceremonies of southern Africa
“He who brings rain, brings life” (Ancient Zulu Saying)
Rainmaking rituals and ceremonies have been practised throughout the world, particularly during periods of drought and just before the agricultural season.