Outing to Origins Centre for a guided tour of the exhibition Origin of the World: Creation and transformation in San dress, narrative and rock art
Dr Vibeke Maria Viestad
Sat, 09/09/2023 - 10:30
The Origins Centre Car Park at Wits University
Outing to Origins Centre for a guided tour of the exhibition
Origin of the World: Creation and transformation in 
San dress, narrative and rock art

Tour guide: Dr Vibeke Maria Viestad
Date:   SATURDAY, 09 September 2023
Time:   10:30 for 11:10
Meet at:  Origins Centre, Wits University. Parking directly in front of the building on Yale Rd.
Duration: Roughly 1 hour. You will be able to explore the Origins Centre afterwards.
Charge:  Members R90, Non-members R130
Booking: Please email Anne Raeburn on anner@mweb.com to book
Information about the Outing

There was a time when animals were human, and humans were animal. The time of the Early Race, the time of the First Big Bushman, the time of the Gemsbok people…
In southern African indigenous myth and folklore, we learn about this time, when identities were blurred and relationships between powerful beings of different natures were social and interacted with each other. After the creation of the Second Order, when animals became animal and humans became human, hunter/forager groups continued to negotiate these relationships, so that the world as we know it today would not revert to ambiguity and chaos. To dress appropriately was an especially productive way to do this.
The exhibition aims to disseminate the rich material and embodied culture of San dress practices, and how these made explicit part of a complex cultural discourse encompassing all aspects of life – in myth, ritual, and everyday practice. Featuring an aspect of San history and culture that is rarely in focus, the exhibition examines San dress from an historical hunter-gatherer context, revealing traditions and stories relating to items such as skin clothing (the apron, the kaross), body modification including scarification and tattoos, shoes, and accessories such as beadwork, bags, and tortoise shell containers with fragrant buchu, exploring these elements of dress and ornamentation as they appear in the ethnographic material, in San narratives, and in the rock art.
Your tour guide is Dr Vibeke Maria Viestad, who developed and designed the Origin of the World exhibition. Dr Viestad is a Norwegian archaeologist and senior lecturer in the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo, Norway. She is an honorary research fellow at the Rock Art Research Institute at the University of Witwatersrand and a research associate at the Archive and Public Culture Research Initiative at the University of Cape Town. Viestad is the author of the book: Dress as social relations: an interpretation of Bushman dress (2018), which is based on her PhD research.