Durban's Phansi museum houses some of South Africa's largest collections of
traditional art, crafts & artifacts. The collection is beautifully displayed in
Robert's House, which was built in 1898 and is now a restored Victorian National
monument. The building was once the home of Esther Roberts, who lived there her
entire life. She was one of South Africa's pioneering female anthropologists,
and also authored numerous historical novels. The Phansi museum was able to
construct spectacular new displays in 2006, due to funding by the Bartel Arts
Trust, allowing them to expand to the ground and first floor of the building.
The museum showcases various forms of original music, performing arts and oral history through the hosting of regular live events. A much talked exhibit featured at the Phansi Museum is the display of about thirty life size dolls, dressed in full ceremonial attire from various regions and cultures throughout Southern Africa.
The displays housed within the museum include beadwork from the different regions of KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape as well as numerous brilliant examples from the Ndebele people. The beadwork varies from present day works, to works which date back to the nineteenth century. A wide variety of other interesting items can be viewed in the exhibits, including headrests, meat platters, carved spoons, a skillfully made collection of Zulu clay pots, snuff bottles, earplugs, pipes, fertility dolls and beautifully carved sticks, as well as a contemporary collection of telephone wire baskets and various other modern sculptures. Also to be found is the Phansi museum is a coffee shop which serves refreshments and light lunches.
Address : 41 Cedar Road, Glenwood, Durban, 4001
Contact : (tel) +27 (0) 31 206 2889 (fax) +27 (0) 31 206 1590
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