“We are learning about the Khoi in history, and actually we are learning about all of us, hey?”
This was said by a Floreat Primary learner after taking part in creating the Garden of Healing at Princess Vlei on June 08 2018.
The garden was planted with indigenous Dune Strandveld plants with a particular emphasis on those which have a medicinal or spiritual significance for the Khoi people and other South African groups. Ninety children from Levana Primary, Harmony Primary, Floreat Primary, John Graham Primary and Lotus High came to do the planting. This is part of the Princess Vlei Forum’s program to rehabilitate and beautify the vlei, and to use it as a space to enable children to experience nature and learn about their natural and cultural heritage.
The garden is traversed by a by a path in the shape of a Fibonacci spiral to sympbolise eternal life, and to connect it to spiritualism and nature. As one of the oldest known symbols, spirals and have been used since ancient times. The first people in South Africa drew spirals on the walls of caves and carved them into rock. The Fibonacci spiral occurs frequently in nature, and is also the shape of our Galaxy.
He explained that this tribal group, the Xoraxoukhoe, lived throughout this area. “When Van riebeeck came, the Khoi Khoi people were here, and here are the khoi Khoi still. We are the descendants, the children of the Khoisan - anyone who stays here. We are not coloured, we are the Khoi.’
He taught the children the Nama name for the Cape Flats, which means 'where the clouds gather'.
The leader of the Xoraxoukhoe tribe, Kai Bi’a Hendrick van Wyk, said it was important to know that many cultural practices of the Nguni people originated from the Khoi. He encouraged the children to feel proud of their Khoi heritage and identity.
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Speaking afterwards, Floreat Primary teacher Kristi Jooste said, 'Thank you for offering us a space to connect - With nature, with one another, and with the soil. And even a little maths lesson in there. So much deep learning took place today in ways beyond what test papers can measure and words can describe.’