In celebration of Arbor Week this year Inkcubeko Nendalo, together with the Mobile Science Lab, the Albany Branch of the South African Botanical Society and Rhodes University Botany Students visited Mary Waters High School in Grahamstown with two culturally mportant trees that were planted by the school pupils (see media report here).
The school has recenty built two new classrooms and the trees were stragtegically placed alongside the classrooms to provide shade and beauty in years to come.
The trees are umnquma (wild olive, Olea europaea subsp. africana) and uluzi (veld fig, Ficus burtt-davy). The leaves of the umnquma tree are used as a platter for the strips of meat, called intsonyama, at the ritual sacrifice of a goat or cow and the the tree is thus of religious and cultural importance. Similarly, uluzi bark is used to make a ritual necklace called isiyaca.
Mary Waters Grade Ten puplis with the newly planted umnquma tree