The Order of Mapungubwe

This Order is to be awarded to South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.


This Order can be awarded in three Categories:

Category 1 = Gold

Category 2 = Silver

Category 3 = Bronze

Symbolism / Design Elements

Central Motif / Symbolism

The Ikhamanga (Strelitzia) plant symbolises the unique beauty of achievements by men and women who carry the colourful South African aloft in the fields of creativity, arts, culture, music, journalism and sport.


Neck badge

  1. Four corners of the globe - symbolise the achievements of South Africans all over the world.
  2. Rising sun - the new dawn emerging from Africa.
  3. Mapungubwe hill - forms the background, a sandstone hill on mudstone deposit in an arid subtropical area with erratic summer rains. Excavations showed that excellence grew out of the most difficult natural circumstances.
  4. Mapungubwe rhino - the now most well-known artifact found in a grave at the excavation site, a gold-plated figurine formed around a soft core, probably sculpted wood, testimony to the excellence of human resourcefulness present in the Kingdom.
  5. Mapungubwe sceptre - emerging from the gold melting pot on either side; another of the artifacts found in a grave at the excavation site. 6. Decorated gold melting pot - the basic symmetric forms on the overflowing gold melting pot symbolises the abundance of excellence, science and creativity, testimony to the earliest achievements in metallurgy. 7. Furnace - the purifying and life sustaining properties of fire, employed since the Iron Age, to advance development and excellence in societies and communities.

Last updated : 19-Feb-2019

This article was produced by South African History Online on 03-Apr-2011

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