Indigenous Medicine exhibit encourages connectedness
On 30 August 2019 Dr Mxolisi Dlamuka, Director of Museum Service at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), launched the Indigenous Medicine at the Cape exhibition in Green Point.
DCAS Deputy Director for Museum Service, Michael Jansen van Rensburg, welcomed the guests to the Cape Medical Museum, which is now the home for the history of medicine of the Cape, including exhibitions on early dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, traditional medicine and surgery. The well-maintained building dates to 1859, but was officially opened as a museum in 1986.
Dr Zahid Badroodien, City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, shared his views on the incredible diversity of indigenous medicinal plants that are freely available in the Cape floral region.
“This exhibition encourages connectedness”, said Dr Dlamuka in his keynote address. He drew a parallel between traditional, indigenous, herbal and academic healing practices and stressed the value of the diverse use of medicinal plants as home remedies.
Langa High School learners entertained guests with an energetic music performance before key stakeholders cut the ribbon and officially launched the exhibition on the first floor of the museum.
The multi-faceted display invites visitors to learn, experience and explore. A TEDx audio vision talk by Carlo Randall about his work as a bush doctor and the conservation debates around harvesting medicinal plants add an interesting element to the exhibition. Dried and live cuttings of medicinal plants complete the thought-provoking display while at the same time bringing a lovely smell to the designated room. The exhibition is curriculum-based and will be used for educational programmes for grades 4-6 and 8.
In her vote of thanks Museum Manager, Kholiwe Dubula, thanked, amongst others, the DCAS Scientific and Technical Museum staff at Ruyterwacht who brought the concept to life. She recognised the contributions of retiree Douw Briers and the late Billy Smith who played vital roles in putting the exhibition together.
DCAS encourages communities and tourists to learn more about the local history at museums in the Western Cape. Let us promote and share the valuable items and activities at our museums. BETTER TOGETHER.