Friday, March 18, 2016 - 00:00

The Minister of Arts and Culture Hounable Nathi Mthethwa will unveil the Specifically Declared Broster Beadwork Collecton at Walter Sisulu University (WSU) Mthatha Campus in Eastern Cape  on 18 March 2016. The event will start at 8:30 to 17:00.

The protection and conservation of this collection was done by the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) in partnership with the Walter Sisulu University in accordance with Section 32 (4) of the National Heritage Resources Act No 25 of 1999 (NHRA).

The Collection was purchased from Joan Broster, in the 1980s, by the then University of Transkei, (now Walter Sisulu University). It is mainly from the Qebe area in Engcobo, Eastern Cape and was collected by Joan Broster (nee Clarke), between 1952 and 1966.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 (EC). Joan Broster’s grandfather pioneered a trading business in the Engcobo district of the Transkei in 1875.

Four Clarke generations lived among the abaThembu Clan before Joan Broster, as a young bride, moved to the village of Qebe in 1952, to run a family trading store. There she studied AbaThembu traditions, and developed a passion for their beadwork.

Joan collected and documented her extensive collection, particularly the local costumes and beadwork of the abaThembu, which demonstrated how minutely beadwork mapped social identity within this Xhosa-speaking community. She also used her contacts with the network of traders in the region, to collect beadwork from other Xhosa-speaking groups, such as amaMpondo, amaMpondomise, amaBomvana, amaGcaleka, and a refugee group of the amaXesibe that had settled among the abaThembu in the early 1800s, and adopted their customs and dress.

The Collection is one rare ancient collection that depicts the old traditions, way of life and the spirituality of the Southern Nguni people in the Eastern Cape. This is one Collection that is worthy of conservation and that cannot be recovered if lost by this generation. Beadwork is under represented in the historical narrative of our archival institutions, hence an undertaking to preserve this historic collection so that it could be bequeathed to future generations.

This is one rare historic treasure in our midst that is worthy of conservation in accordance with general principles of heritage resources management as prescribed in section 5 of the (NHRA) and that should be bequeathed to future generations for posterity.

We look forward to your support in celebrating this historic event.



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Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 16:37

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