Each year on 24 September South Africans celebrate heritage day in appreciation of our country’s diverse heritage. Heritage day is also an important day on the Museum’s calendar and for this year’s heritage event the Museum focused on South Africa’s culinary heritage.
Recently the National Museum held an exhibition about body art and its relationship to identity. As part of this display visitors were introduced to ‘Ötzi’, the oldest known example of a tattooed body. Ötzi was named after the region in the Ötzal Alps near the Similaun mountain refuge in north-west Italy, where he was discovered in 1991 by hikers in a thawing glacier pool. Currently he is kept preserved in a perfectly controlled environment in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, in Bolzano, Italy, where he provides an invaluable view into Neolithic man’s life and environment.
In China, for over a thousand years, tiny feet were symbols of feminine beauty, elegance and sexuality. If you were a Chinese woman living between the late Tang Dynasty (618-907) and 1949, small, slim, soft and pointed feet were a must have. When looking at photographs of curled, callused toes and gnarled bones it is difficult to see the beauty, but for a thousand years men adored these tiny feet lotus or lily feet, as they were called.
Bart de Graaff en Marianna Botes
In April 1834 reis vyf Duitse sendelinge per ossewa vanuit Kaapstad duisend kilometer die Suid-Afrikaanse binneland in op soek na ‘heidene’ om tot die Christendom te bekeer. Hierdie sendelinge was verbonde aan die “Genootskap tot bevordering van die evangeliese sending onder die heidene”, wat later bekend gestaan het as die Berlynse Sendinggenootskap.
Most people have heard of family trees and know that they are used to illustrate family histories or genealogies. A child’s drawing of a family pedigree showing the relationships of his/her immediate family is a well-known classroom exercise at schools. We also use this family tree concept in evolutionary biology to learn more about the histories of biological organisms.