Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Credo Mutwa Cultural Village

In Jabavu in Soweto, we were led to a remarkable place, the Credo Mutwa Cultural Village. This collection of clay statues were created in the Oppenheimer Gardens by the very famous sculptor, author and healer Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa 30 years ago, celebrating African culture and folklore.

This sculpture park is a remarkable contribution to African religious tradition. It is also known as Khayalendaba - "Place of Stories", and is connected to story-telling, rituals and ceremonies, plays and other cultural activities.

Credo Mutwa did, however, use materials that has not withstood time, and many of the statues were in a very bad condition indeed. It was also sad to see that the gardens were filled with rubbish. So for me the visit to the Credo Mutwa Cultural Village ended as a rather depressing experience. I am, however relieved by the fact that extensive restoration of this wonderful tribute to African folklore is in progress, and that some of the statues had been restored back to their former glory.

In the gardens you may go up to a large tower, located on the highest point of the park. From there you have a great view over the area around. I do look forward to return to the park, when the restorations works have been finished.

You may read more of the Restoration work in an article by Lucille Davies at the Official Website of the city of Johannesburg.

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