The small figurines here represent a rare
opportunity to view the social concerns of people in southern Africa a thousand years ago. They come from a
group of more than a hundred figures found at an archaeological site near
Schroda Farm in South Africa. The find revealed that each home
contained an abstract female figurine, perhaps to preserve household fertility,
while other sculptures may have been used to communicate social information in
a rite of passage ceremony. These animal sculptures suggest which animals were important to these people.
The animal figurines represent wild, domestic and mythological animals.
Explore a diverse range of art stretching
back 100,000 years in our exhibition South
Africa: the art of a nation (27 October 2016 – 26 February 2017).
Exhibition sponsored by Betsy and Jack Ryan
Logistics partner IAG Cargo
Schroda clay figurines. South Africa, about
AD 900. Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History, Pretoria.