heritage

David Rawdon, who saved Matjiesfontein

An icon of the Karoo has passed on, but his dreams will never die.  David Duncan Rawdon, the man, who loved life, enjoyed Spanish champagne and a good brandy will forever be remembered at his beloved Matjiesfontein.  He re-created this village 40 years ago and turned it into the tourist spot that its original owner […]

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Delicacies of the poor: Bread and porridge recipes

Armmansbrood (Poor man’s bread), gebraaidepap (braaied porridge) or waterbrood (water bread) were traditional breads of the early Karoo.  To make them all that was needed was flour, water and a little salt, mixed together and kneaded into a stiff dough.  This was then rolled out, (normally using a bottle), spread with fat or oil, rolled […]

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Dorothy Tongue: Exploring The World Of The San

At the turn of the last century, a Cradock school teacher made a breakthrough in techniques used to record San rock art.  She was Helen Tongue and she taught at Rockland Girls’ High School in Cradock, from the late 1890s to early 1900s. It was there that she met Dorothea Bleek, daughter of famous San […]

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George Stow and Joseph Orpen, collectors of rock art treasures

George Stow was 21 years old when he arrived in Port Elizabeth in 1843. A geologist by profession, he was “a Victorian gentleman of many talents,” said his friends. He was a historian, ethnographer, artist, cartographer, writer and poet. The South African veld beckoned him and rock art fascinated him.  It took him into caves […]

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Karoo Bread

Bread was not easy to find along the wagon route, said early writers. Hinterland housewives had to grind their own flour and make their own yeast from sour dough, potatoes or veld plants. Bread was often baked in a hollowed out ant heap, says Prince Albert historian Pat Marincowitz. Brick or clay ovens with chimneys […]

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Maria Wilman: Rock art pioneer and museum curator

A South African woman, who was to become famous in botanical circles, was born in Beaufort West on April 29, 1867.  Her name was Maria Wilman and oddly enough this arid section of the Great Karoo was to prove fundamental in shaping her future as rock-art collector as well as a researcher of San and […]

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Rare Khoi pots found in Prince Albert

Two clay pots, typical of those used by early Khoekhoe or Khoi (Hottentot) people, were recently found  in the Prince Albert area after a heavy rainstorm.  They had been washed out of a natural drainage channel at Waterkop smallholdings, on the outskirts of the village, and were discovered by Gareth Williams and his friend Willem […]

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The Heritage Work Of Joanna Marx

Joanna Marx recently died in her sleep while visiting friends in London. She will always be remembered in the Karoo for the key role she played in the preservation of the historical architecture. She criss-crossed the Great Karoo, Klein Karoo, Southern Cape and Overberg, like a missionary fiercely preaching conservation and cultural heritage. Joanna developed […]

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Yeast Making – An Art All On Ots Own

Making “suurdeeg” (sourdough or yeast) was an art, said Pat Marincowitz.  “Early housewives started by peeling and grating a potato and then boiling this in about a liter of water for 10 to 20 minutes. Half a tablespoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of sugar, a few raisins, a little flour and a slice of bread […]

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