PHANSI MUSEUM: A SPACE PRESERVING ARTEFACTS AND PRACTICES THAT REMIND US OF THE TALENT IN US ALL
Take a journey with us to Durban to discover the Ubuntu artefacts housed by Phansi Museum.
It’s in Gleenwood Durban that we find the home of renowned Architect Paul Mikula. With a deep appreciation for South African history and culture, Paul is the managing trustee of The Phansi uBuntu-art Museum. A space that has humble beginnings, initially housing only a small, personal selection of craftwork, but has grown in recent years to boast a large collection of artefacts including Zulu beadwork from the 19th Century, earplugs, wire baskets, milk pails, beer pots and dolls.
Situated inside a Victorian styled home where Esther Roberts, one of the first female social anthropologists once lived, The Phansi Ubuntu Art Museum is a tribute to South African heritage.
From his vantage point above the city Paul, Managing Trustee of Phansi Museum, shares its story with us.
“The mood of the museum is to make you feel good. It’s a feel-good museum. When you go there, you come out feeling ‘Wow. This is incredible art,’ and then you come out with questions like ‘I want to know more’, ‘I want to learn how to do this,’ and ‘How can people make these amazing pots without having a kiln, a wheel, or anything,'” says Paul.
The museum hosts various outreach programmes, and has research facilities to help answer these questions and take it further. The space is more than a museum in that it exists to build the local community, preserve the past, as well as empower the future.
Through their African Art Centre, they provide workshops for emerging artists and platforms to help create business opportunities for local crafters.
The artefacts preserved at the Phansi Ubuntu Art Museum were created by ordinary people for everyday use. This is a beautiful reminder of the talent that lies in us all and of the importance of preserving our proud heritage.