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The Year of Unity and Renewal: Protecting and Preserving our Human Rights Gains

Join Iziko Museums of South Africa in commemorating and celebrating Human Rights Day For media images and[…]

Talking Heads and Heritage: in conversation with the Lydenburg Heads

For almost 2 000 years, pots, hoes, beads and, later, walls connected people from Lydenburg to Great Zimbabwe and beyond. There is meaning in the space we live in, the things we make or buy and how we choose to use them. Through space and time, this connects us all. Certain milestones in life are also universal. Initiation ceremonies, 21st birthday parties and certain religious rites are all examples of how we celebrate or acknowledge coming of age. While some rites of passage are modern, others have deep roots in the past. The 1-000-year-old Lydenburg Heads show us that rites of passage have been important to the people of southern Africa for a long time. We are putting together an exhibition that celebrates the Lydenburg Heads – one of South Africa’s most treasured archaeological finds – while exploring how diverse and changing cultures celebrate their rites of passage.

Image credits / Iikhredithi zomfanekiso / Beeldkrediete:

Gold-plated rhinoceros figurine / Umfanekiso womkhombe ogqunywe ngegolide / Goudbedekte renosterbeeldjie. © University of Pretoria

Gold finial / Isacholo segolide kuphahla lwendlu / Goue puntversiering. © University of Pretoria

Ceramic pot / Imbiza yomdongwe / Keramiekpot. © Gavin Whitelaw, KwaZulu-Natal Museum

Feathered metal spear / Umkhonto wentsimbi oneentsiba / Geveerde metaalspies. © Iziko Museums of South Africa

Ivory trumpet / Ixilongo lephondo lwendlovu / Ivoortrompet. © Iziko Museums of South Africa

Photographs: Nigel Pamplin. © Iziko Museums of South Africa.


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Current Exhibition
Media Enquiries:

Zikhona Jafta
Tel: +27(0)214813862
Fax: +27(0)214619620
Switchboard: +27(0)214813800

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Iziko Museums


Dear Visitor

Please be advised that the Castle of Good Hope will be closed to the public on Thursday, 8 February 2024.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Looking forward to your future visits.


Iziko Management