The Living Museum of the Mbunza
About 14 kilometres west of the Kavango capital Rundu you can find a place unlike any other: The Living Museum of the Mbunza, a traditional school for culture and at the same time a communal business for the local people of the Kavango. With this sustainable project they will be able to preserve their traditional culture and to generate an additional income.
The old traditions of the Mbunza
As with all Living Museums in Namibia the main focus of the Mbunza Living Museum is to provide visitors to the museum with a detailed and authentic insight into the traditional, pre-colonial culture. The Living Museum, situated at the Samsitu Lake, is a traditional village of the Kavango, who have lived in this area for centuries. The village has been built entirely from natural material and the actors of the Museum carry clothes made from self- tanned, with Mangetti nut oil refined leather. The outfit actually had to be reconstructed from old photographs.
Fascinating Kavango culture
An essential part of the interactive program of the Living Museum is the demonstration (and preservation) of the fishing and land cultivating culture of the Mbunza. The traditional presentation covers everything from everyday life (traditional cuisine, fire making, basket and mat weaving, etc.) to bushwalks and fishing and finally to highly specialised techniques like blacksmithing, pottery and the making of drums.
The spoken language is Rukwangali, the most common language in the Kavango area. The guide translates into English. After having been convinced of the quality and the high standard of the Living Museum and after gaining an insight into the tradition, guests are able buy a small souvenir at the craft shop and to take a piece of Kavango culture home with them.