Puppets from the Phansi Museum in Durban were among exhibits at the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) 2021 underway in that city in South Africa.
This puppet collection is a premier attraction of the museum because they are life-sized and clothed in ceremonial attires representing various ethnographic districts.
According to a tour guide from the museum, Miss Nomonde Radebe, each puppet has a specific dress code, colour, material, design, jewellery, age and gender and has a social status.
The puppets are suspended from cables several feet above the floor in the museum’s display areas.
Miss Radebe explained that in the IsiZulu language, phansi meant “below or beneath” in reference to the basement where the Phansi Museum began.
It is traditionally known as “the place beneath us where ancestral spirits dwell”.
The museum organises bi-monthly exhibitions aimed at encouraging direct community involvement and generating new audiences.
Each month, “we aim at bringing 1,000 learners from townships and rural areas to the museum”.
The fair, which began on Monday, November 15, 2021, aims at facilitating trade investment and provides an opportunity for investors to transact business.
It has also created opportunities and a platform for small and medium-scale enterprises to take advantage of the African market.