Fuze’s Gourd Installation discussed in International Seminar
At a seminar hosted by the Research Centre for Material Culture in the Netherlands and held on the 7th March 2023, Professor Carolyn Hamilton of the Archive and Public Culture Initiative (University of Cape Town) and a frequent research partner of the KwaZulu-Natal Museum, gave a presentation titled Refigurings of archives and epistemological futures. Part of the presentation touched on the recent installation of the beer gourd donated by Magema Fuze to the KwaZulu-Natal Museum in 1904.
The gourd, which for many years was in storage, was installed on exhibition again in late 2022 as part of the re-publication of Fuze’s book, Abantu Abamnyama by the University of KwaZulu-Natal Press. The installation was overseen by Dr Justine Wintjes, Curator of Anthropology in the KwaZulu-Natal Museum’s Department of Human Sciences. Professor Hamilton noted that the exhibition challenged older modes of museum representation still evident in the older exhibits of the museum that surround the exhibit and allowed for new questions to be formulated regarding the organization and meaning of the material archive within the museum’s collections. You can learn more about Fuze’s Gourd by visiting the Africa Gallery at the KwaZulu-Natal Museum.
The installation of Fuze’s Gourd is on exhibit in the Africa Galleries of the KwaZulu-Natal Museum (Photo: G. Blundell).