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Anthropology collects and documents Xhosa traditional knowledge, ranging from artifacts and medicines to myths and rituals.

Owing to its predominantly oral character, traditional knowledge is doomed to extinction in a modern hi-tech world in which its poetic language and practical significance are likely to be misunderstood, unless recorded and documented for posterity.

Ethnological artifacts are displayed in the XHOSA GALLERY, which documents social and cultural change among the Xhosa of the Eastern Cape from pre-colonial times to the present.


When he was born is unknown. 1875 is one of the dates previously mentioned, but this is clearly incorrect particularly if one considers the obituary written by D. E. Mbane that appeared in Imvo Zabantsundu following Sontonga's death on 18 April 1905. Mbane mentions that Sontonga was thirty-three years old when he died, which means that he must have been born in 1872. "He was not sick, except for a stomach ache. He was always saying he was going to die." On that account, he asked his wife one Sunday to take a photograph of him, but she had a toothache. As a result, he went to a professional photographer to have his portrait taken. His obituary mentions that he was a preacher and photographer. He was survived by his wife and a child.

Read more: Sontonga


Maqoma was the greatest Xhosa warrior, guerilla general and leader of the nineteenth century.

He was the eldest son of Ngqika (c. 1775-1829) by the wife of the Right Hand house, Notonta, of the amaNgqosini. Ngqika was the Great Son and heir of Mlawu, the Great Son of Rharhabe (c.1722-1787) who was the Right Hand Son of the Xhosa king Phalo (1702-1775).

Read more: Maqoma