Traveling Exhibit: Kopanang Universe Canticle

Kopanang Universe Canticle

Kopanang Universe Canticle

Kopanang Universe Canticle Wall Hanging

The Kopanang Universe Canticle is a traveling exhibit created by women in the Kopanang Community in South Africa. The women of Kopanang have formed this community in the face of their own struggle with HIV/AIDS in order to provide medical, familial, and spiritual resources. As the Sotho word Kopanang is translated to “gathering together,” this support network empowers women through their care for one another as they unite across cultural divides. Kopanang creates a space where women can take on life affirming and sustaining skills to create artwork as they share their spiritual story.

Kopanang Universe Canticle

Kopanang Universe Canticle Women

The Kopanang Universe Canticle is a collection of 35 stunning wall hangings, which not only unfolds the universe evolution story but also reveals and strengthens the spirit of the Kopanang community. The intricately embroidered panels tell the story of the universe as interpreted by 17 Kopanang women as a means to celebrate life and creation. The woven words of one tapestry aptly states “Art becomes integral to life.” Art is integral to their own story and this exhibit allows us enter their life, understanding and supporting that story. In addition to offering learning opportunities about South African culture, AIDS, and inspirational community building, the canticle is also a scientifically accurate portrayal of evolution, further broadening its use as an educational resource. Blending myth, science, and folklore, the tapestries illustrate the beautiful textile art created in their community.

Kopanang Universe Canticle

Kopanang Universe Canticle Display

The Mariposa Museum of Peterborough, NH is thrilled to be the guardian of the Kopanang Canticle as it tours the country. Our goal is to reach as wide an audience as possible in order to provide this unique and powerful opportunity to a diverse set of people. Our mission, linked with theirs, is committed to celebrate and enrich their community through spreading their artwork and their story. Rental fees for the exhibit also directly contribute funds to the Kopanang Community. Commissioned in 2002 to commemorate World AIDS Day by the Faithful Fools Street Ministry in San Francisco, their artistry now circles the globe; it has been displayed in Museums, Churches, public spaces, galleries, and Universities. The exhibit is flexible and can be shown in various spaces through different presentations for multiple purposes. We do ask that you display the exhibit in its entirety, showing every tapestry in the canticle. Please find an itemized list detailing the exhibit below.


  • 35 wall hangings in total
  • Most wall hangings are 1 square meter in size


  • Though we are flexible, we ask that you try to take the exhibit for at least 1 month.


  • Sliding fee + transportation costs
  • We are committed to sharing the Canticle with as wide an audience as possible and will work with you to find a suitable price point for your needs.

Additional Opportunities:

  • A speaker from the Kopanang community may be available…
  • Additional purchase of retail cards are available which can be used as a retail program for profit and/or fundraising for the community
  • Kopanang products for sale which help fund their community

If interested please contact the Mariposa Museum at for further details regarding your individual needs.