KwaZulu Cultural Museum at Ondini, Ulundi
KwaZulu Cultural Museum in Ulundi displays iconic icons of Zulu culture, just like the spear and shield, the tall, flat-topped isicholo headdress and beaded letters. It holds one of the most consultant collections of Zulu heritage, reflecting its changes from past to provide.
Situated a short distance from Ulundi in KwaZulu Natal, is Ondini, where Zulu ruler Cetshwayo once lived. Ondini was destroyed by British forces, and today a part of the residence continues to be reconstructed, and features the KwaZulu Cultural museum.
During the royal reign of the Zulu king Mpande, the bloodiest battle in Zulu history was fought between two of his sons Cetshwayo and Mbuyazi, to stay a succession dispute. It had been at the battle of Ndodakasuka that Mbuyazi was killed, and Cetshwayo remained as the sole heir to the Zulu throne. In 1872 when king Mpande died, Cetshwayo assumed the role of king, and built Ondini, meaning “high place”. Ondini was constructed in the traditional oval form of Zulu capitals before it. A distinctive feature of Ondini would be a western style four cornered house situated within the isigodlo (royal enclosure) that served like a House of State.
It’s thought that Nomkhubulwana, the Princess of Rain, revealed the secret of traditional beer brewing to the Zulu people, and that white cattle are related to ancestral spirits, representing purity and fertility. The great empire builder King Shaka banned early marriage to make sure his warriors kept their concentrate on matters of war, and love letters during courtship took the type of colour symbolism in beadwork.
They are a number of the interesting facts the visitor learns at the KwaZulu Cultural Museum in Ondini near Ulundi, which falls into the eMahosini Valley, the valley of Zulu Kings.
This KwaZulu-Natal cultural museum traces numerous historical themes. In one section it details the early inhabitants of the province, prior to Shaka and a successor Cetshwayo, then the arrival of white settlers and their implications for trade. It also examines belief systems of the Zulu, and the importance they positioned on cattle like a supply of wealth. Bringing the story into the present, a presentation on apartheid laws and their effects is roofed.
Another section reviews the strict divisions between males and female roles in this patriarchal and polygamous society and how it was reflected in dress, customs and division of labour. A reconstruction of the traditional homestead constitutes a fascinating display. Other cultural aspects for example the brewing of beer, the output of musical instruments and the significance of beadwork can also be covered.
The KwaZulu Cultural Museum is one museum that does not freeze the culture it portrays in a timeframe of the past. It examines the Zulu nation nowadays, and shows the dynamic nature of the Zulu culture because it moves with the times.
Most displays have interactive components, for example toys children can enjoy with, traditional musical instruments to experience and the chance to try to go to beadwork.People to the KwaZulu Cultural Museum will see fascinating facts about Zulu beliefs, a few of which derive from the presence of ancestral spirits and a few of which continue being observed today. For instance, cattle are thought to become a way of measuring a man’s wealth, and white cattle are related to ancestral spirits and representing fertility and purity.The museum hosts one of the most representative collections of the rich cultural heritage of KwaZulu Natal, in addition to a stadium and an open-air picnic site. The museum concentrates on the Nguni-speaking peoples of South-Eastern Africa. Of note is its exceptional assortment of beadwork. The KwaZulu cultural museum provides background to the good reputation for the region. The layout of the Royal Homestead is explained and you will find displays of the Zulu Monarchy, King Cetshwayo, the Anglo-Zulu War and the excavations of Ondini. King Cetshwayo’s silver mug, bible, necklace and shotgun will also be exhibited here