On the 28.07.2017 we were celebrating the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Living Culture Namibia e.V. For the tenth time we have reason to celebrate and to look back on (more than) 10 years of project work in Namibia. Here we have put together a review of the events of the Living Museums and the Living Culture Foundation Namibia of the past 13 years.
Brian Heyden, a tour operator from New Zealand who visits the Living Hunter’s Museum at /Xa//Oba annually, brought a special surprise for the villagers this year. He donated several bags of warm clothes, shoes and blankets to the Living Museum, ideal for the harsh winters of the northern Kalahari.
The New Zealand guests that went on a 3-week Namibia safari with Brian at the end of June bought all their camping equipment in Windhoek due to logistical reasons. After their visit at the Hunter’s Living Museum which the New Zealanders more than enjoyed, they decided to donate the complete equipment to the Bushmen after their tour.
Around midday we left the Living Museum towards the west to participate on a bushwalk together with the bushmen of the Living Hunter’s Museum. Although having been already several times on such a bushwalk with the San, every single time it is a wonderful, relaxing and exciting activity during which one is taken back to old times and one can imagine how the old bush life must have felt like. Thoughts start to wander. The stress and the everyday life seem far away and one starts to concentrate only on the essential things: But be aware of your steps, snakes, scorpions and other small animals are dangerous to step on. Now and then one of the San women discovered something special, e.g. Dchun (Walleria Nutans), which taste like old potatoes (that’s why they are called bush potatoes), the succulent root named “!ai!ai” (Raphionacme Velutina), which is essential for the old San’s survival or a sisal plant, known as “Oryx horn” or “Mother-in-law tongue”, which is used to make strings and ropes.
The almost meditative bushwalk had been constantly accompanied by lively conversations amongst the San. Often we stopped to analyze tracks of wild animals; we dug, picked and plucked. Suddenly a loud yelling and cheering, at first we thought a wild animal has jumped out of a bush. But no – one of the elder ladies jumped under a bush and started digging and revealed a small brown tuber.
It is with great pleasure that we announce the official opening of yet another Living Museum. Over the last year we have travelled to Omungunda – 40 km north of Opuwo – on a regular basis to hold meetings, motivate and guide. The efforts have not been fruitless and we are proud to invite you to the opening of the sixth Living Museum in Namibia: The Ovahimba Living Museum.
The Museum will officially open its “doors” to guests on the 05th November 2016 and we would like to give you the opportunity to come and celebrate this day with us. A demonstration of the program will be held in the morning whilst the opening ceremony will take place in the afternoon.
The aim of a second project meeting in March 2016 at the newly emerging Living Museums was to get an impression of progress of this project so far and to further motivate the Ovahimba project group to tackle challenges and to continue establishing their Living Museum.
Project report from Sebastian Dürrschmidt
On our project tour at the beginning of September, the LCFN was able to present the concept of the Living Museums to a group of Ovahimba in the north of the country. This marks the first step towards the establishment of a Living Museum.
Project report by Sebastian Dürrschmidt
The museums supported by us owe their existence to the income they make from tourism in Namibia. A lot of visitors to Namibia enjoy visiting the museums for an extended time and decide to camp directly at the Living Museums.
This of course increases the income for museums that have a campsite. Not only does the campsite itself generate income, but guests are taking part in numerous programs offered as they have more time at hand. Those who have camped at one of the Living Museums of the San know what an up-close and personal experience it is and how much this contributes to an eventful visit at the museums.