Compiled by Mary Alexander
As we celebrate Heritage Month in South Africa, we bring you a selection of photography celebrating the diversity of the country’s many and varied cultures, traditions and customs.
All photos are copyright Brand South Africa and may be used free of charge for editorial purposes, on condition that Brand South Africa is credited.
Young Xhosa girl with traditional face paint in the village of Mooiplaas in the Eastern Cape.
Dancing teenage girls in traditional Xhosa clothing in the village of Mooiplaas, Eastern Cape.
A man wearing traditional Xhosa adornments in the Kei River Mouth region of the Eastern Cape.
A traditional craftsman makes acoustic guitars in his workshop in the village of Morgan Bay on the Eastern Cape coast.
Children make music with a guitar and traditional drums in a cottage in the seaside village of Port St Johns, Eastern Cape.
Beautifully patterned Nguni cattle on the beach at the mouth of the Kei River in the Wild Coast region of the Eastern Cape.
Husband and wife at home in Kei Mouth on the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape.
A football fan wearing an elaborate makarapa – a reworked and decorated plastic construction helmet – at a match at Mangaung Stadium in Bloemfontein in the Free State.
A football fan all dressed up to support Bafana Bafana, South Africa’s national football team, at a match at Mangaung Stadium in Bloemfontein in the Free State.
A man in traditional dress playing an accordion at the Basotho Cultural Village in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Free State.
A choir of women sing traditional songs at the Basotho Cultural Village in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Free State.
Schoolchildren look at an exhibit of decommissioned weapons at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.
A child peeks from behind a foosball table in a township community centre in Gauteng.
Friends enjoying an evening out at a shebeen – informal township tavern – in Vosloorus, eastern Gauteng.
An Indian South African mother and daughter in their shop in the Victoria Street market in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. A popular tourist attraction, the market offers Indian food, spices, material, clothes and trinkets.
A dancer in traditional gear at Shakaland, a Zulu cultural village in the town of Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal.
A girl child wearing traditional beadwork at Shakaland, a Zulu cultural village in the town of Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal.
Friday prayers at Juma Masjid Mosque, the largest mosque in the southern hemisphere, in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Completed in 1927, the mosque is a spiritual centre for the local Muslim community.
A regular sight in Durban: rickshaw drivers clad in colourful traditional Zulu gear, heavily beaded outfits and horned headdresses.
A teenage girl outside a colourful homestead painted in the traditional Ndebele geometric style, in Lydenburg, Mpumalanga.
A craftsman selling traditional carved and painted wooden birds in the old-style mining village of Pilgrim’s Rest, a popular tourist attraction in the province of Mpumalanga.
A musician playing the saxophone at the Barnyard Lowveld at the Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. This live music and entertainment venue has established a volunteer-run performing arts development programme to nurture community talent.
A friendly greeting from one of the locals in Upington in the Northern Cape.
A traditional San Bushman hunter looks out across the Kalahari Desert in the Northern Cape.
A Nama woman wearing the traditional patterned dress and distinctive bonnet (or kappie) missionaries brought to the Namakwa region of today’s Northern Cape in the 1800s. Pella, Northern Cape.
A Nama woman poses in traditional gear – white apron over her patterned dress and cloth bonnet and headscarf adding the final touch – inside her traditional Nama dwelling, known as a matjiehuis in Afrikaans or !haru oms in the Nama language. Pella, Northern Cape.
A farmer with a Merino , a type of sheep bred for meat and wool that thrives in harsh, dry conditions such as those found in the Northern Cape.
A boy with his handmade toy wire car in Askham, a village in the Red Kalahari Desert region of the far Northern Cape.
Members of the Matsosangwao Culture Group in Rustenburg, North West. They are one of the many groups in the region who meet every day after school to practice their traditional dance routines.
A woman selling freshly cut flowers – including fynbos species such as king and pincushion proteas – in Adderley Street, Cape Town. Generations of flower sellers from the same families have run stalls at the Adderley Street market for over 100 years.
A traditional small-scale fisherman at the harbour in the village of Hout Bay, which lies on the Atlantic coast of the Cape peninsula, south of Cape Town.
Children in the Cape Town suburb of Bo-Kaap, at the foot of Signal Hill. Well-known for its colourfully painted houses, Bo-Kaap is the traditional home of the Cape Malay Muslim community.
Fabulously dressed and adorned music groups known as Cape Minstrels perform at Cape Town’s annual carnival every year.