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September 14, 2010

Celebrating South Africa’s natural heritage with Iziko

jenny marchand

Jenny Marchand presents the talk, “Roots of Human Ingenuity – Honey Bees” at the South African Museum on September 22

It’s Heritage Week from September 20 to 26, and while there will be lots of time to braai over the long weekend (September 24 is Heritage Day), there will also be many opportunities to celebrate South Africa’s heritage, be it natural, cultural, political or social.

Cape Town’s Iziko Museums, arguably the authority on South African heritage, are pulling out all the stops this year with free events – and free access to most of its museums – designed to sate every curiosity you might have about our history.

The natural environment is taking the limelight next week, and Iziko have lined up two special events on Wednesday, September 22, that grapple with Mother Earth’s creatures, albeit in two very different ways.

If taxidermy – the art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the skins of animals – has always fascinated you, be sure to spend next week Wednesday at the South African Museum. Iziko have set up a taxidermy display and complemented the enlightening exhibit with guided tours, happening between 11h00 and 12h00, and again from 14h00 until 15h00.

As entrance is free on the day, Wednesday is an opportune time to check out African dinosaurs and other wonders of nature on display in the museum, like the shell of a giant clam, giant twinned quartz crystals from Namaqualand, and a 20.5-metre-long whale skeleton.

On Wednesday evening, bee expert Jenny Marchand will deliver a talk entitled “Roots of Human Ingenuity – Honey Bees” from 18h00 until 19h00 in the Rock Art Gallery at the South African Museum.

“Our journey will take you into the footsteps of our oldest relatives, the Bushmen people, to hear some of the ancient bee lore as told around the storytelling fire,” says Marchand.

“Amongst the greatest friends from the insect world are the bees. They promote life with their activities and their private systems within the hive are astounding.

Heritage Week will offer “edutainment” for everyone, and nature buffs will be well served if they take advantage of these special events.

Click here to visit the Iziko website.

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