Our San Artefact Exhibition from the Rudner Collection in the Heritage Centre invites you to explore a fascinating array of artefacts that speak volumes about the San people, their rituals, and their deep connection to the natural world. Among the treasures on display, here are some of the notable ceremonial tools and items that make our San Artefact Exhibition truly mesmerising.

Fly-Whisk: Invoking Spirits and Healing Energies

san hunter fly whisk

The fly-whisk, a ceremonial tool wielded by Shamans, takes center stage in the curing dance. Used to heal individuals within the community and ward off evil spirits, this symbolic object is also a talisman, drawing in spirits of the deceased and potent energy to infuse the dance with mystic power.

Arrows: An Ingenious Link Shaft System

san hunter arrows

San hunters devised a remarkable link shaft system for their arrows. The poisoned tip pierces an animal's skin, and the link shaft breaks off, preventing the animal from dislodging the arrow. This ingenious design ensures the effectiveness of the poison as it takes effect.

Gathering Bags, Digging Sticks & Ostrich Egg Water Containers

san hunter gathering bags

For San and Khoe women, digging sticks were essential for excavating the ground in search of edible roots and bulbs. These sticks, often weighted with bored stones, were used to probe the soil. Additionally, ostrich egg shells and calabash containers were engraved and used to store precious water, especially in the arid regions where water was a scarce resource.

Each piece tells a story of survival, spirituality, and resourcefulness, offering a profound insight into the rich cultural tapestry of the San people. Join us in preserving and celebrating these remarkable aspects of our shared human heritage.