Heritage Day commemorations: our indigenous knowledge of traditional medicine
The Cape Medical Museum commemorated Heritage Day on 23 September 2015 in the garden of the Museum in Portwood Road on the doorstep of the V&A Waterfront in Green Point.
The activities at the Museum blended in well with the national Heritage Day theme for 2015: Our Indigenous Knowledge, Our Heritage: towards the identification, promotion and preservation of South Africa’s living heritage.
Grade10–12 learners from the Langa, Zonnebloem, Isilimela and Hector Peterson High Schools spent the morning at the Museum to learn more about the heritage of medicine and traditional medicine. Postgraduate students Lutho Menyane and Michael Solomon, who are involved in the science of herbal medicine at the University of the Western Cape, participated in a tour of herbs and traditions.
One of the museum’s management committee members, Prof Kay de Villiers, touched on the history of medicine and said the Cape had a tradition of healing, curing and caring. Prof Ralf Henkel from the University of the Western Cape discussed the science of herbal medicine. Dr Thozamile Qubuda shared his knowledge on African traditional medicine and healing practices with the audience.
Museum manager Kholiwe Dubula stressed the value of understanding medicine and traditional medicine and encouraged learners to study science and medicine. She said that the curriculum for Grade 4–6 includes traditional medicine and the museum is planning an educational tour to assist learners to understand traditional medicine.
Our living heritage helps us to express our identity. It is our responsibility to share and learn more about our diverse backgrounds. Let us respect our rich traditions and customs and safeguard them for generations to come, BETTER TOGETHER.