September Saturday Stories: Heritage


The Theme: Our Heritage. The San people of Africa. There will be four workshops in this series, which form a unit in our Toolbox. They could be presented as a two (or even three) day workshop, or as four shorter workshops, as we are doing now.

The Aim:
By this stage, the children who attend will have some knowledge about the San from school. Some of that is usually a little confused. We aim to show the San as a vibrant, living community, as well as something from the history books. In particular, we want to change some of the stereotypes. For example: ‘What do you think of when you think of San people? Answer: Hunting. We want to introduce the idea of women and children in an egalitarian society where food collected from the bush is critical. Meat brought by hunters plays an important part, but not everything comes from hunting. In particularly, we want to highlight the rich heritage of San music, art and – perhaps above all, story.

The children will examine rock art in a variety of reference books, draw some of the shapes and colour them with pastels to make polychromatic images.

The will listen to music from the CD Kulimatji nge and relate them to the clapping games we always play at workshops.

Participants will make drawings of the animal-headed figures found in some rock art (thrice folded long papers that are exchanged around the group).

We will read aloud from various sources of stories and explain the value of the insight they give us into life in the past.

They will participate in a dramatization of Lion and the Firesticks and sing the choruses under the direction of Janine van Rooy and Vuyokasi Sizwe.

Books to used:

For quiet reading by the children (10 books):

Koba of the Kalahari by Melissa Heckler
Waiting for Rain by Megan Biesele and Lesley Beake
The Wood-Ash Stars by Marguerite Poland
Bau and the Baobab by Lesley Beake and Ann Walton
Mapungubwe by Janette Deacon
The most interesting job in the world by Janette Deacon
Measuring Time by Moeneba Slamang
Jafta’s Mother
Jafta’s Father (All by Hugh Levin, illustrated by Lisa Kopper)

As reference:

Music and recorded stories:
We tell our old stories with music (Kulimatji nge) by elders of the Smitsdrift community. (With CD)

Visual reference (5 Books)
Splinters from the fire by Coral Fourie and Edouard Maunick
Bushman Art of the Drakensberg produced for the Natal Museum in Pietermaritzburg
My Eland’s Heart by Marlene Sullivan Winberg
Threads of Knowing – The SA Museum of Rock Art
San Stories !Kun and Khwe San folk tales – a South African San Institute Oral History Project retold by Marlene Sullivan Winberg.

Books for reading to the children:

San Stories (as above) retold by Marlene Sullivan Winberg
Waiting for Rain by Megan Biesele and Lesley Beake
Bau and the Baobab by Lesley Beake and Ann Walton
(Others to be added)

A short play, with singing, from San Stories (above) with permission obtained from the copyright holder.

Dates of workshops:
Saturday 8th September
Saturday15th September
Performance: Heritage Day Saturday 24 September

Our thanks to:
National Lotteries Commission for funding our organization’s operational costs
Butterfly Centre for allowing us to use their school out of school hours.
The Paddy and Sue Kell Family Trust for funding our workshops and toolboxes.

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