Following the recent success of the exhibition entitled Imithi yesiXhosa - Plants for Health, Life, and Spirit, the Department of Sport Recreation Arts & Culture, Cacadu District, requested the material for a transformation project at the Somerset East Museum in September 2009. The exhibition of photographs, plants and traditional artefacts depicting the use of wild plants for various Xhosa cultural and spiritual practices was opened officially by the mayor of Somerset East and DSRAC dignitaries on Friday 4th September. Almost 100 learners from local schools livened up the event with traditional dancing and singing while a delegation of diviners (amagqirha) blessed the proceedings (see photos below).
The exhibition débuted at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 2005 and went on to Port Elizabeth Museum, Albany Museum in Grahamstown and East London Museum as well as Wageningen Public library and Rheenen Dierenpark in the Netherlands. The exhibition, produced by Tony Dold and Dr Michelle Cocks at Rhodes University, focuses on education and is integral to their Incubeko nendalo – Bio-cultural Diversity Education Programme, a satellite of Rhodes’ Mobile Science Lab outreach project. Educators from the Somerset East Museum recently visited the Rhodes team with the aim of establishing a similar education project at the museum. The exhibition will be central to the classes and the venue will double as a classroom.