Wire and tin windpump, made by Sandisile Matya, Cradock, Eastern Cape, 1988. From the Iziko Social History collection. 


Doll from the Iziko Social History collection.


Toys are important for understanding the material world of childhood and changing patterns of socialization. The Toy Collection contains mainly commercially-manufactured dolls, marionettes, soft toys, games and a range of metal and plastic vehicles and trains, as well as indigenous African toys.

There is an important collection of miniature military figures sculpted by the Swede Holger Eriksson, who worked in South Africa for the firm Swedish African Engineers during the mid-twentieth century. There is an extensive collection of wire toys, mainly cars, from southern Africa, illustrating how children draw on their own resources and found materials from their external environment to make toys that express their aspirations.


Gerald Klinghardt
Email: gklinghardt@iziko.org.za
Telephone: +27 (0) 21 481 3838