The Order of Mapungubwe
This Order is awarded to South African citizens for
excellence and exceptional achievement.
This Order can be awarded in three Classes:
- Class 1 = The Platinum Order of Mapungubwe (Platinum)
- Class 2 = The Gold Order of Mapungubwe (Gold)
- Class 3 = The Bronze Order of Mapungubwe (Bronze).
Symbolism / Design Elements
Central Motif / Symbolism
Mapungubwe: The Mapungubwe Kingdom existed in the northern
corner of our country a millennium ago. The Kingdom had a
sophisticated state system and developed agriculture. It also
developed a mining and metallurgy industry. The Kingdom traded
with countries as far as China. During its time, it represented
excellence of human thought and ingenuity.
|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 artefact 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.
scepter - emerging from the gold
melting pot on either side; another of the artefacts
found in a grave at the excavation site.
6. Decorated gold melting pot - the basic
symmetric forms on the overflowing gold melting pot symbolise the abundance of excellence, science and
creativity, testimony to the earliest achievements
7. Furnace - the purifying and life-sustaining
properties of fire, employed since the Iron Age, to
advance development and excellence in societies and
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