Category: Ancestral Stories

The Cow: A bridge between the living and the dead

Uhuru Phalafala writes about the significance of cows as a presence, a vessel, a bridge and a god in Sepedi culture and explains why, even in the direst situations of hunger, the cow will be preserved.

Sekoele Basotho: Protecting Initiation through the Law in Lesotho

Sebinane Lekoekoe considers the issues that shaped Lesotho’s the Protection and Administration of Customs on Initiation Schools and Other Related Customs Bill, intended to bring back the dignity of and respect for traditional initiation rites.

Archives and Human Rights: The Case of Slavery in the Cape

Lucy Campbell reflects on the potential of archives to play a role in restorative justice, with particular reference to the history of slavery in Cape Town.

A document of union-ship in an archive

Dineo Skosana considers love letters and other information about intimate relationships that enter the archive and asks what kind of documents should be considered personal and which might be accessed without restriction.

Love in the time of imperialism: Krotoa ‘Eva’ van Meerhof

Lucelle Campbell relates the touching story of the marriage of Krotoa, a Khoe woman, to the European surgeon, Pieter Van Meerhof in 1666.

Archives as a source of love to be cherished: O.R. Tambo and Adelaide Tambo.

Vuyani Booi writes about archival resources which speak to the ways in which leaders of the liberation movement and their families kept together by sharing love.

Creative acts of love

Nokhanyo Mhlana reflects on the fragments of expressions of the love scattered in archives and collections around the world.

Inyathi Ibuzwa kwabaphambili / Wisdom is learnt from the elders

Nokhanyo Mhlana argues that some information can be kept and preserved through written archives while other information is passed on from generation to generation through oral narratives and ways of life.

Archives in a Diverse Country

Mbongiseni Buthelezi reflects on the need to expand the definition of ‘archive’ beyond the narrow traditional view.

Ukubaluleka komvimba abagcina amafa ethu/The significance of institutions that preserve our heritage

Vuyani Booi responds to a provocation we set ourselves for us at the Archival Platform to think about what archives mean in a diverse country and raises some important points!

Dressing for Christmas

Dineo Skosana interrogates the tradition of acquiring new clothes for Christmas and wonders how and where it originated

Iikrisimesi zam

Mqombothi,braai mutton from a freshly slaughtered sheep,loud talks and laughter,our 86 year old granny are the highlights of Nokhanyo Mhlana’s christmas celebrations.

‘Ou Mens Onder Die Komberse’ Old People Under The Blanket and Kitchen Dutch

Lucille Campbell honours the memory of the ancestors who brought their unique cuisines into Cape homes.

“Nomadic Cannibals” Ilanga Newspaper’s Historical take on Amabhele

Musa Hlatshwao reports on the controversy unleashed by an article about the history of ‘AmaBhele’ published in Ilanga earlier his year.

Cannibals as ancestral graves: Moshoeshoe’s devoured grandfather

Musa’s Hlatshwayo’s story on the Amabhele and the public outrage that has allegations that they were secretly cannibalistic reminds Jo-Anne Duggan of the rather different story of Moshoeshoe and his engagement with the people who devoured his grandfather.