The Khwe museum project is developing in a very good direction. To maintain the positive tendencies, we organized a traditional workshop in the museum on March 24th and 25th, 2021. The aim of the workshop in March was, among other things, to make traditional clothing, tools and weapons. Furthermore, the museum program should be supplemented by other traditional activities. The activities are, of course, also focused on the motivation of the project group.
We made it! In these testing times we have finally managed to deliver all aid supplies of our 6000€ fund raiser to the Living Museums.
Goal was to supply all Living Museums supported by us with basic food products to the value of 1000€ per museum to help the actors and their families to make it through this tourist and income free time.
The first two Living Museums have received the long awaited emergency food supplies.
After a couple of problems with suppliers in Windhoek resulting in some delays in the delivery of goods we were able to transport the supplies to the Mbunza and Mafwe. The joy was huge in both Living Museums
Based on the Corona situation in Namibia we sent out a donation call for a Corona emergency package on Betterplace at the end of May. Currently we managed to collect donations of 4000 Euros, 2000 E are still missing so that every museum can receive food supplies of 1000 E. Here you can continue supporting us:
We also received numerous donations directly onto our foundation account. We are very thankful and impressed by the willingness to support us during these difficult times.
Great donation - 220 blankets for 220 museum actors
Through our call for support Alexandra Sacharow from Red Earth Safaris learned about our emergency project. Her German clients Jürgen and Brigitte of the German company Siebdruck Uth donated 220 blankets for 220 actors in the Living Museums to a total value of N$ 13.200. We also want to extend our hearty thanks to that!
We received the thick wool blankets just now - fittingly on one of the coldest winter mornings of the passed years here in Windhoek. Together with the food donations the blankets will be distributed to the Living Museums in the next few days - we will keep you informed!
Like everywhere else in the World the Corona virus has led to a collapse of the tourism industry in Namibia. The safety measures in Namibia began with the halt of international air traffic on March 15 and with the restriction of local travel and school curriculum on March 27 (Namibian Lockdown)
For the six living museums we support this means a total loss of all income since mid-March 2020. Neither international tourists (about 90% of museum visitors) nor local travelers or school classes were able to visit the living museums and the future is uncertain, as it is currently still unclear when international travel will be possible again. Local tours have been allowed again, but the Namibian economy is so weakened that hardly anybody is travelling.
Since 2009 the LCFN has been trying to set up a project in the form of a living museum with the Khwe San in northern Namibia, unfortunately so far without success. Constantly changing project groups, little motivation and unrealistic demands by the Khwe group members, as well as some failed approaches by external development aid organizations made us think of the project as a failure.
We made a final attempt in January 2020. This was encouraged and financed by the Futouris association from Germany and the Namibian travel agency ATC, which have been supporting the traditional village of the Khwe since 2013. As a project sponsor in Germany, the German travel agency Gebeco is supporting the project.
This year a project trip to visit two of the LCFN museums was done by Sebastian Dürrschmidt, Vojtěch Šeba, Ralf Kühn (LCFN members), Ingo Kühn and photography student Gustav Lorenz.
The aim was to assess the state and the past development of the Damara museum at Twyfelfountain and the Ovahimba museum located close to Opuwo which had been opened three years ago. This was done in order to find opportunities for possible improvement.
As marketing and consulting organisation the Living Culture Foundation Namibia is also responsable for the proper signposting of the six museums it is supporting in Namibia. The relentless heat of the sun especially up north fades and burns away the colours of the signboard to the extend that we have to replace them every 2 – 3 years.
Here is the travelogue of Ulrike Laupichler, who won the Namibia holiday from the LCFN lottery:
We were greeted at the airport by the driver who took us to Africa on Wheels, where we were able to take over our Toyota Hilux 4x4. The car was equipped with brand new tires and carried us almost 3,000 km through Namibia without any problems
Werner will be at the Living Hunter's Museum and the Ju/'Hoansi-San Museum this week to help with the installation of new signboards and campsite add ons. Of course there will be some community meetings as well. End of the week Werner will also meet with a young group of Damara from the Spitzkoppe who might be interested in establishing a Living Museum. We will keep you updated.
The Living Culture Foundation gives thanks: Last year we had a brilliant fund-raiser by organising a raffle with a 14-day Namibia journey as main prize. The lucky winner of the tour, Ulrike Laupichler enjoyed the 14-day tour through Namibia from 22.01. – 03.02.2018 with her friend Sascha Müller.
A detailed tour review will follow shortly: We want to express our gratitude to the following sponsors, who made this fund-raiser a success:
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.
At the end of February 2017 I had again the possibility, together with friends from Germany, to visit the Living museum of the Mbunza very close to Rundu. Since the opening in 2012 it is my third time already. Immediately I recognized how structured and organized the visits of tourists are handled, how much effort Sebron and the colleagues of the museum put into imparting knowledge and to really show the very specifics of the ethnicity of the Mbunza on the Okavango river.
On the 5th of November the Living Culture Foundation Namibia (LCFN) opened the 6th Living Museum in Namibia: The Ovahimba Living Museum. Together with the San, the Mafwe, the Mbunza and the Damara, the Ovahimba are now the 5th language group to own a Living Museum and to invite visitors to get to know their culture.
What started with an idea and an initiative of John Tjipurua - now the manager of the Living Museum - and the Living Culture Foundation, could turn into a productive success story which developed within 1.5 years. The opening of the Museum was a huge success for us!
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.
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.
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.
The Living Museum of the Ju/'Hoansi is Namibias first Living Museum
Culture: Hunter-Gatherer Culture of the San
Highlights: "Action Day" - 4 hours interesting introduction into the culture of the San
Setup: Many gras huts in great nature, campsite and craftshop
"... Our Living Museums has 76 actors at the moment. All actors are very happy with the work they are doing. The aim of our Living Museum is to develop the Grashoek community. Its is also a school where the elders teach the young people about culture..."
Apollo, Manager of the Ju/'Hoansi-San Living Museum
The Living Museum of the Mafwe in the Caprivi, situated under huge Baobab trees
Culture: Bantu culture of the Mafwe, influenced especially by fishing and farming
Highlights: "A day together with the Mafwe" - 4 hours of interactive program
Setup: Kraal, several clay huts, traditional kitchen, bush campsite & craftshop
"... The Mafwe Living Museum has 38 permanent workers and 12 students at the moment. We realized that we must share our culture and the Living Museum is the right tool to do that because the Mafwe people are happy and proud about their culture! ..."
Elizabeth Madima, Manager of the Mafwe Living Museum
The Living Museum of the Damara close to Twyfelfontein, reconstruction of the "lost" culture of the Damara
Culture: Traditional culture of the Damara
Highlights: "Traditional Life" - 1 hour entertaining program
Setup: Kraal, several wooden huts, pharmacy, blacksmith, craftshop
"... The Damara Living Museum has 30 actors and is called "Taotatide" in our language which means "we are proud of our culture". The actors are happy and very proud of their job. In the future we want to start a campsite and further improve our Living Museum..."
Hans-Bernhard, Manager of the Damara Living Museum
The Hunter's Living Museum - the only museum offering a real traditional hunt in the wilderness together with the San
Culture: Hunter-gatherer culture of the Ju/'Hoansi
Highlights: "3 Days in the wild" - several days intensive educational program
Setup: Several gras huts, campsite, craftshop
"... We have 25 actors in our museum. When the visitors come to see and understand our culture, the guests but also our children learn about the old traditions which is very important for our community. ..."
The Living Museum of the Mbunza at Lake Samsitu, reconstructing the "old Africa"
Culture: Bantu culture with main focus on fishing
Highlights: "A Day together with the Mbunza" - 4 hours cultural program
Setup: Several traditional huts inside a large traditional village, kitchen, blacksmith, craft shop
"... Our Living Museum which has 25 people is a good tool to let people understand the value of our culture, where we come from and where we can go. We are proud of our culture and are happy to learn about people from all over the world who are visiting us. ..."
The Living Museum of the Ovahimba north of Opuwo in the Kaokoveld
Culture: Unique semi-nomadic Bantu culture
Highlights: 5 hours "Spend a day with us" program
Setup: Large homestead including main hut, holy fire, life stock kraal
"... We have 32 actors in our museum. We were able to discover the old and lost traditional Ovahimba culture. The Living Museum is very succesful and the actors are benefitting from it directly and indirectly thorugh the selling of crafts very much ..."
Setup: Mehrere Grashütten, Campingplatz, Craftshop
"... Unser Lebendes Museum hat 76 Akteure im Moment. Alle Leute sind zufrieden mit der Arbeit im Museum. Das Ziel unseres Museums ist es, die Gemeinschaft in Grashoek zu entwickeln. Daneben ist es eine Schule, wo die Ältesten die Jungen unterrichten..."
Das Lebende Museum der Mafwe im Caprivi unter Baobabbäumen
Kultur: Fischerei- und Farmerkultur der Mafwe
Höhepunkte: "Ein Tag zusammen mit den Mafwe " - 4 Stunden interaktives Programm
Setup: Kraal, Mehrere traditionelle Lehmhütten, traditionelle Küche, Busch-Campingplatz, Craftshop
"... Das Mafwe Museum hat 38 permanent angestellte Aktuere und 12 Studenten im Moment. Wir haben verstanden, dass wir unsere traditionalle Kultur teilen müssen und das Lebende Museum ist der richtige Ansatz dafür, weil die Mafwe stolz auf ihre Kultur sind!..."
Das Lebende Museum der Damara bei Twyfelfontein - Rekonstruktion der "verlorenen" Damara Kultur
Kultur: Jäger- und Sammlerkultur der Damara
Höhepunkte: "Traditionelles Leben" - 1 Stunde kurzweiliges Programm
Setup: Kraal, Mehrere traditionelle Hütten, Apotheke, Schmiede, Craftshop
"... Das Damara Museum hat 30 Akteure. Wir nennen es "Taotatide" in unserer Sprache, was soviel bedeutet wie "Wir sind stolz auf unsere Kultur". Die Akteure sind glücklich und stolz auf ihre Arbeit. Für die Zukunft planen wir einen Campingplatz und weitere Verbesserungen im Museum..."
Als einziges Museum bietet das Little Hunter's Museum die Möglichkeit zu einer traditionellen Jagd
Kultur: Jäger- und Sammlerkultur der San
Höhepunkte: "3 Tage in der Wildnis" - mehrtägiges, intensives Kennenlern-Programm
Setup: Mehrere Grashütten, Campingplatz, Craftshop
"... Wir haben 25 Akteure in unserem Museum. Wenn die Besucher kommen, um unsere Kultur zu sehen und zu verstehen, lernen die Gäste über unsere alten Traditionen, aber auch unsere Kinder, was sehr wichtig für unsere Gemeinschaft ist. ..."
Das Lebende Museum der Mbunza am Samsitu See, das alte Afrika am Okavango rekonstruiert
Kultur: Bantukultur mit Schwerpunkt Fischerei
Höhepunkte: "Ein Tag mit den Mbunza" - 4 Stunden Intensiv-Programm
Setup: Mehrere traditionelle Hütten im Kraal, Küche, Werkstätten, Schmiede, Craftshop
"... Unser Lebendes Museum, bei welchem 25 Leute arbeiten, ist eine gute Möglichkeit, den Besuchern den Wert unserer Kultur zu verdeutlichen, woher die Mbunza kommen und wohin sie gehen. Wir sind stolz auf unsere Kultur und auch glücklich etwas über die Besucher aus aller Welt zu lernen..."
"... Wir haben 32 Akteure in unserem Museum. Wir haben es geschafft, die alte Ovahimbakultur wiederzubeleben. Das Lebende Museum ist sehr erfolgreich und die Akteure profitieren direkt und indirekt, zum Beispiel durch Schmuckverkauf..."