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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Voortrekker Monument

This huge statue is a memorial to the women and children who embarked on this journey into the unknown...who overcame and succummed to some of the harshest trials imagnable.

The stonework is wonderfull, the structure, angular and simple and reminds me of the front of an old church organ.

The Voortrekker monument s located East ( I think) of Pretoria and can't be missed as you enter into the city. We had an hour or two to spare and decided to take a visit. Sadly, not many modern South Africans have visited this monument...once revered as one of our greatest monuments erected in memory of the brave people who left the Cape Colony in search of wealth and freedom.

There are many books relaying storys of these brave people, the one which I really loved was written by TV Bulpin called the LOST TRAILS OF THE TRANSVAAL, first published n 1950. I read it a year or two ago, but have begun to read it again, happily. Going to places, seeing new things are really meaningless unless one delves into the history....the story's behind the places and faces.

These are two of the sculptors of the finely carved panels inside the monument

I have been here before, a few years ago, but still find the murals disturbing....the violent scenes depicting the massacre of men, women and especially the children. Hundreds of years later, what has changed???? women and children are still being massacred around the world!

Pierneef is one of SA's most successful artists. Standng in front of this painting, I wasn't overly impressed all. Its simplistic, naive, and doesnt really have a 'wow' factor. (other than the realization that you are standing in front of a LOT of money)

South Africa has got a lot of history. Yes, the history books have changed since 1995 but that's only the books. There's a history that lies deep in the soul of every person living in this diverse country, black and white, that which was told, that which was taught and that which was discovered. The monuments may be removed or forgotten, but no wind of change could blow away what has been gifted to you culturally through ancestory. I proudly and truly embrace mine.

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