South African Snapshots: no 16

Victoria Street Market.

Indian spices and deities jostle for space with Zulu sandals, vegetables, live chicken and a dazzling array of medicinal herbs at Victoria Street Market. This is where the local Durbanites go to do their shopping. Different sections have different wares; there is an Indian market with everything from mindblowingly hot currypowder to incense, a brick-a-brack fleamarket where you can find anything from cassette tapes to iPhones (all without any certificates or guarantees of course), a clothes section, fruit and vegetables, and lastly the Muti Market. Muti is local slang for medicine, but refers to the kind that traditional doctors use. In traditional African healing, the physical, psychological, spiritual and ancestral worlds are interconnected and traditional healers are the mediums through which these worlds are communicated with. Roots and dried herbs are displayed in neat rows; skin, feather and other parts of birds and animals hang in the doorways and we will probably never get to know what is stored in the dark huts…

You can visit Victoria Street Market on your own, but I recommend visiting with a guide as part of a Durban tour. This way, you get to see more and still stay safe. Try Markets of Warwick.

Victoria Street Market

Victoria Street Market

Victoria Street Market

Victoria Street Market

Victoria Street Market

Victoria Street Market

Victoria Street Market

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