Regarded as a living museum, the Bakone Malapa Northern Sotho Open-Air Museum near Polokwane is one of several museums and national monuments that bear testimony to South Africa’s peoples.
Did you know?When visiting the Bakone Malapa Open-Air Museum, experienced guides will demonstrate how fire is made, how beer is brewed and how maize is ground.
The Bakone Malapa Open-air Museum, where tribesmen practise long-standing traditions to enlighten visitors about the traditions of Africa’s people, is one of two similar museums in Limpopo – the other is the Tsonga open-air Museum near Tzaneen.
Bakone Malapa is a reconstructed village in the style used by the northern Sotho about 250 years ago designed to demonstrate the daily life of the Bakone, a highly sophisticated subgroup of the northern Sotho tribe.
The cultural village includes two homesteads or lapas that display and explain fire making, maize grinding and beer brewing as they would have been carried out years ago. There are also handcraft demonstrations that include pottery, basketry and bead work and most of these locally-made crafts are then sold from the local craft shop.
The guides are all excellent story tellers and the village’s architectural and cultural styles come alive through their eyes as they take one through the village’s traditional way of life. But the museum is more than a cultural village alone. There is a bird sanctuary, a game reserve, hiking trails and outdoor recreation areas.