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.
We received all the goods in Windhoek and stored everything. The Bushmen of /Xa//Oba managed to organize transport quickly. None other than Dr. Tilman Lenssen-Erz from the University of Cologne came to fetch the things and took them up north to the Living Hunter’s Museum. He was accompanied by Goodman Gwasira, with whom Sebastian of LCFN had lectures in archaeology and ancient Namibian history in 2005.
Excursus – Dr. Tilman Lenssen-Erz
Dr. Tilman Lenssen-Erz is director of rock art research of the Research Centre Africa for Prehistoric and Prohistoric Archaeology at the University of Cologne. He has good contacts to the Hunter’s Living Museum, as some of the trackers of the museum and the extended surrounds helped with a research mission that examined 17.000-year-old foot and hand prints of the “modern man” from the ice age in the Pyrenees in 2013. Dr. Tilman Lenssen-Erz‘ motivation to engage Bushmen from Namibia in the research in France stems from his belief that the Bushmen thanks to their century long experience as trackers would be able to give a logic and important input in solving some of the unresolved questions regarding the prints.
The result: The Bushmen were flown to France and for the first time ever was western archaeology combined with African tracking skills. A very interesting documentation about the definitely new insights thanks to the visit of the Bushmen and about the whole expedition can be seen here:
Back in "Bushmanland"
The bushmen were ecstatic about the donations that were fairly distributed amongst all villagers. A heartfelt thank you to Tilman and Goodman for their uncomplicated help and of course to Brian Heyden and his guests.
After receiving the pictures of the hand-over Brian Heyden assured to organise more donations in future including funds for infrastructural projects within the Living Hunters Museum. An additional water pipeline for the second campsite is needed and the toilets have to be renovated. New sign posts for the campsite as well as the museum are also required.