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The Living Museum of the Damara
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Hunter-gatherer culture of the Damara

Museum development

The Living Museum of the Damara was developed and built by Hansbernhard Naobes in cooperation with the Living Culture Foundation Namibia. Since Hansbernhard visited a traditional Mafwe Museum in the Caprivi in 2004 , his dream was to present the traditional Damara culture in a museum.

In contrast to the Mafwe, who still posses a great part of their cultural memory and who have kept many of their traditional skills alive over the past, the original Damara culture has been nearly completely forgotten. Hansbernhard and his team had the task to reconstruct their culture and have passed with flying colours. Help was offered especially from another project of the Living Culture Foundation Namibia, the Living Museum of the Ju/’Hoansi-San, which especially helped the Damara to relearn the traditional techniques and skills.

Hansbernhard NaobesHansbernhard Naobes

In February 2010 the Museum opened – a huge success for the Damara, but especially for their culture, which can now be maybe partially saved.

In the Museum the visitors will now get to know how the Damaras used to live  in Namibia before the time of colonisation. How they forged, how they made their traditional dress and jewellery and how they retrieved food and medicine from the bush. Great importance is attached to representing the ancient culture as authentically as possible.


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