The last time I was in South Africa, I took my children to see a monument I had seen many times as a school-going child.
I have posted on this unusual monument before (the architectural highlights, the voortrekker’s wagon, its unique characteristics, and its windows). In this post, I want to share with you some of the interesting displays that have been laid out for visitors to see in the basement of the building.
My children were impressed by the toys the voortrekker children used to play with. The girls used to play with hand-made dolls (shown above) and the boys used to take the jaw bones and teeth of animals that had been killed and pretend they were wagons and oxen (shown below).
In the days of the voortrekkers, people used to use gunpowder in their guns. Hollowed out horns were used to store the gunpowder in. These were slung over the hunter’s shoulder.
Even the guns they used were a lot different from what we see today:
The one display case held an array of interesting objects. The wood was all hand carved and the objects looked more unique than those we find today. Here is a shaving kit used by the men:
Some embroidery samplers were laid out to show the women’s skill at sewing;
Each family would have a Bible from which they would read every night:
In the front of each Bible, the family tree would be inserted:
The writing implements they used to use were a quill and ink. It is amazing how beautiful the penmanship was:
Clothes during that time were handmade. Christening dresses were used more than once within a family:
Hats and personal items were uniquely embroidered:
The voortrekker women wore hats that protected their face and neck from the sun:
There was a display up showing us what the men and women wore during that time. My picture is a little fuzzy as the lighting in the basement is not very bright. The picture, however, does give you an idea of the clothes they wore. The ones pictured here would have been their Sunday best – the clothing they would have worn to go to church.
The men wore shoes (veldskoene) made from the hide of the animals they had killed for food.
On display was also a Zulu shield, assegai (spear) and animal hide that the warriors would use in battle.
We enjoyed strolling around in the basement and looking at these items. They helped to give us a sense of who the voortrekkers were. My children enjoyed their mini history lesson and came out of the monument asking many questions about the past.
Do you enjoy visiting displays of the past?
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
(This post was created as a response to a comment made by Belinda at Busy Mind Thinking on one of my Voortrekker Monument posts. The weekly photo challenge at WordPress encouraged me to complete the post that had been sitting in my draft box.)