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Project report by Dr. Ralf Kühn

Project report by Dr. Ralf Kühn

Read a project report from the LCFN project tour 2020 by Ralf Kühn and Sebastian Dürrschmidt with the visit of four projects.

Dear friends and members of LCFN,

I have just returned from Namibia with a lot of impressions. The corona pandemic also led to a very strict lockdown in Namibia, which not only affected the social life of the Namibians, but also set the main economic sector - tourism - to "zero". There were hardly any international tourists in the country for 6 months and all borders were closed. State aid for businesses in tourism doesn't exist in Namibia. Hence Sebastian, Claudia and I, the board of directors of the Living Culture Foundation Namibia, thought about how we could save the Living Museums which had no more income. The idea of ​​an appeal arose and so in spring and summer we started a successful fundraising campaign through “Betterplace” to preserve the museum landscape for lively old Namibian culture supported by the LCFN. Together with direct donations, an amount of approx. 12,000 euros could be collected.

Claudia and Sebastian had already distributed the donations which included food and blankets to the museums over the past few months. This at least compensated for the supply of food in the absence of day-to-day business.

As Namibia is currently one of the few travel destinations in the world with a very low risk of COVID-19 infection, and hence no quarantine requirement for travelers after the trip, tourism and with it the situation in museums is slowly starting to pick up a little.

Sebastian and I, accompanied by Günter and Moritz from Dortmund (also future members of the LCFN), drove north to discuss the current situation with the managers, but also to tackle new projects at the individual locations.

Ju/'Hoansi Living Museum visit

 In Grashoek we visited the Ju / `Hoansi, the oldest Living Museum of our association, which opened in 2004 and has been cooperating with the LCFN since 2007. The signboards to the museum and the information boards at the entrance of the museum have to be renewed or redesigned. The program is very nice with thr bush walk, the joint making of a bow at eye level, the sporty part with shooting at the straw antelope and the small cultural program with singing and traditional games.

Mbunza Living Museum and project meeting

 We were warmly welcomed by Sebron at the Mbunza at the Okavango River. He informed us that there had been almost no visitors to the museum since the beginning of the infection wave. In order to increase the number of visitors in the medium term, the construction of a campsite in the immediate vicinity of the museum is planned. A cost estimate was presented to us for water, sewage and electricity supply. After a little post-processing, we agreed on financial support from our association. This is to be realized again through a direct donation project on "Betterplace".

The visitor-free time in the Mbunza Museum is also used to repair the infrastructure in the museum village. Fences have to be repaired, roofs sealed, and new inventory and furnishings have to be purchased. We have made a donation for this because - in contrast to all other museums - traditional materials can no longer be harvested by the Mbunza. The area where the Mbunza can harvest their wood for repairs and new buildings is 40 km away. Here a transport company has to be commissioned to transport the wood, the costs of which will be covered by the foundations funds.

Investment is also needed for new display boards and signs. After the detailed program (we also returned a small thank you program with German songs), we had time to talk to Sebron about the next goals. Sebastian is planning a meeting of all museum managers in Windhoek at the beginning of 2021 in order to promote intercultural cooperation among the different museums and to discuss a number of issues relating to various items on the program (e.g. "Professional filming in the museum") There is also need for clarification regarding the guiding, which we want to improve by means of a workshop.

Visit Mafwe Museum

 We visited the Mafwe Museum in the Zambezi region. There was a reunion with Mrs. Elizabeth Madima and her son Gifty, who were in Tangermünde for the “International Museum Day” in 2017. In the meantime, a new museum village has emerged not far from the Zambian border.  In traditional clothing and with a lot of singing we were led on an extensive tour through the different stations of the museum guided by Gifty. It's a nice feeling to sense the trust people have in the museums, but also their pride for their culture, for what they have created themselves and for the knowledge they can pass on in the museum.

New project: Khwe Living Museum

Finally, Sebastian and I spent some time at a new project. Near Divundu, not far from the Okavango is the home of the Khwe Bushmen. Originally native to the Okavango area, their native language with click sounds belongs to the Khoisan language family.

In several meetings with the manager Tadeus, Sebastian had already discussed the structures and processes expected in a museum supported by the LCFN. After a hesitant start, the ice now seems to have broken. Using role-play we again explained the tasks of the guide of a Living Museum. My task as an interested museum visitor, however, was easier. I was allowed to ask a lot of questions, it was certainly the beginning of a new - the 7th - museum of the LCFN.

We noticed that it is not easy for really interested museum visitors to understand, assign and retain the knowledge that is conveyed. In addition to the language of the guides (African English with culture-specific subtitles), this is also due to the guiding itself, the ability to convey the complexity of the cultures, etc.

In order to provide museum visitors with further information, we had the idea of ​​creating a small museum guide for our LCFN educational institutions, with a representation of each museum, a small "virtual" tour through the traditional villages and information on origin, language, a small dictionary (only the 20 most important expressions), social structure, dissemination of culture etc. etc. That should increase the demands on a museum and deepen the information and knowledge about our work. This information can also be conveyed with display boards at the reception. The museum guide is to be sold by the museums, the proceeds are to be used exclusively for the so-called "maintenance pot" of the living museums, ie for repairs, new acquisitions, materials, etc. and thus also serve to continuously improve the museum.

The museum guide is to be financed by our association, here we are looking for donors who are well represented on the last page of the guide. So if you have the right contacts, we are grateful for donations of € 1000 or more. We expect production costs of around € 6000 for the first edition.

There is still a lot to be done to ensure that, in addition to creating jobs in the cultural sector, we fulfill the aspiration of being a sound educational establishment. But I think we are on the right track!

Warm greetings, 

Ralf Kühn

The Khwe Living Museum is developing
Project completed – Aid supply for the Living Muse...

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The Living Culture Foundation Namibia is a German-Namibian organisation which helps communities to establish Living Museums and simlar cultural and traditional projects.

A Living Museum?

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Do you have a question about the Mafwe Living Museum?

 

Have you read our FAQ already? Most of your questions will be answered there. If your question couldn't be answered you are welcome to write us an email to contact@lcfn.info

 

Kind regards, Elizabeth,
Manager of the Mafwe Living Museum

Mafwe Elizabeth

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Do you have a question about the Mbunza Living Museum?

 

Have you read our FAQ already? Most of your questions will be answered there. If your question couldn't be answered you are welcome to write us an email to contact@lcfn.info

 

Kind regards, Sebron
Manager of the Mbunza Living Museum

Sebron

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Do you have a question about the Ovahimba Living Museum?

 

Have you read our FAQ already? Most of your questions will be answered there. If your question couldn't be answered you are welcome to write us an email to tjipuruaj@yahoo.com

 

Kind regards, John
Manager of the Ovahimba Living Museum

John

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Do you have a question about the Damara Living Museum?

 

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Kind regards, Hans-Bernhard
Manager of the Damara Living Museum

Hans

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Do you have a question about the Ju/'Hoansi-San Living Museum?

 

Have you read our FAQ already? Most of your questions will be answered there. If your question couldn't be answered you are welcome to write us an email to contact@lcfn.info

 

Kind regards, Apollo
Manager of the Ju/'Hoansi-San Living Museum

Apollo

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Do you have a question about the Living Hunter's Museum?

 

Have you read our FAQ already? Most of your questions will be answered there. If your question couldn't be answered you are welcome to write us an email to contact@lcfn.info

 

Kind regards, Tsamkxao
Manager of the Living Hunter's Museum

Tsamkxao

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Haben Sie eine Frage über das Mafwe Lebende Museum?

 

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Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Elizabeth,
Manager des Mafwe Living Museums

Mafwe Elizabeth

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Haben Sie eine Frage über das Mbunza Lebende Museum?

 

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Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Sebron

Manager des Mbunza Living Museums

Sebron

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Haben Sie eine Frage über das Ovahimba Lebende Museum?

 

Sollte die Antwort auf ihre Frage nicht in unserem FAQ (meistgestellte Fragen) zu finden sein, so können Sie uns gerne eine Email (In Englisch) schreiben: tjipuruaj@yahoo.com

 

Mit freundlichen Grüßen, John

Manager des Ovahimba Living Museum

John

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Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Hans-Bernhard

Manager des Damara Living Museum

Hans

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Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Apollo

Manager des Ju/'Hoansi-San Living Museum

Apollo

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Manager des Living Hunter's Museum

Tsamkxao

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Juhoansi

The Living Museum of the Ju/'Hoansi is Namibias first Living Museum

  • Opening: 2004
  • 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
Grashoek Apollo

"... 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

Visit Living Museum

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Mafwe

The Living Museum of the Mafwe in the Caprivi, situated under huge Baobab trees

  • Opening: 2008
  • 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
Mafwe Elizabeth

"... 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

Visit Living Museum

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Damara

The Living Museum of the Damara close to Twyfelfontein, reconstruction of the "lost" culture of the Damara

  • Opening: 2010
  • Culture: Traditional culture of the Damara
  • Highlights: "Traditional Life" - 1 hour entertaining program
  • Setup: Kraal, several wooden huts, pharmacy, blacksmith, craftshop
Damara Hans

"... 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

Visit Living Museum

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LittleHunters

The Hunter's Living Museum - the only museum offering a real traditional hunt in the wilderness together with the San

  • Opening: 2010
  • 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
Hunters Ksamkxao

"... 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. ..."

Tsamkxao, Manager of the Living Hunter's Museum

Visit Living Museum

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Mbunza

The Living Museum of the Mbunza at Lake Samsitu, reconstructing the "old Africa"

  • Opening: 2012
  • 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
Mbunza Sebron

"... 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. ..."

Sebron Ruben, Manager of the Mbunza Living Museum

Visit Living Museum

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Ovahimba

The Living Museum of the Ovahimba north of Opuwo in the Kaokoveld

  • Opening: 2016
  • 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
Ovahimba John

"... 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 ..."

John, Manager of the Ovahimba Living Museum

Visit Living Museum

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Juhoansi

Das Lebende Museum der Ju/'Hoansi - Namibias erstes Lebendes Museum

  • Eröffnung: 2004
  • Kultur: Jäger- und Sammler-Kultur der San
  • Höhepunkte: "Action Day" - 4 Stunden intensives Kennenlernen der faszinierenden Kultur
  • Setup: Mehrere Grashütten, Campingplatz, Craftshop
Grashoek Apollo

"... 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..."

Apollo, Manager des Lebenden Museums

Museum besuchen

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Mafwe

Das Lebende Museum der Mafwe im Caprivi unter Baobabbäumen

  • Eröffnung: 2008
  • 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
Mafwe Elizabeth

"... 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!..."

Elizabeth Madima, Manager des Mafwe Living Museum

Museum besuchen

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Damara

Das Lebende Museum der Damara bei Twyfelfontein - Rekonstruktion der "verlorenen" Damara Kultur

  • Eröffnung: 2010
  • Kultur: Jäger- und Sammlerkultur der Damara
  • Höhepunkte: "Traditionelles Leben" - 1 Stunde kurzweiliges Programm
  • Setup: Kraal, Mehrere traditionelle Hütten, Apotheke, Schmiede, Craftshop
Damara Hans

"... 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..."

Hans-Bernhard, Manager des Damara Living Museum

Museum besuchen

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LittleHunters

Als einziges Museum bietet das Little Hunter's Museum die Möglichkeit zu einer traditionellen Jagd

  • Eröffnung: 2010
  • Kultur: Jäger- und Sammlerkultur der San
  • Höhepunkte: "3 Tage in der Wildnis" - mehrtägiges, intensives Kennenlern-Programm
  • Setup: Mehrere Grashütten, Campingplatz, Craftshop
Hunters Ksamkxao

"... 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. ..."

Tsamkxao, Manager des Living Hunter's Museum

Museum besuchen

×

Mbunza

Das Lebende Museum der Mbunza am Samsitu See, das alte Afrika am Okavango rekonstruiert

  • Eröffnung: 2012
  • 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
Mbunza Sebron

"... 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..."

Sebron Ruben, Manager des Mbunza Living Museum

Museum besuchen

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Ovahimba

Das Lebende Museum der Ovahimba nördlich von Opuwo

  • Eröffnung: 2016
  • Kultur: Einzigartige halbnomadische Bantukultur
  • Höhepunkte: 5 Stunden Ganztagsprogramm
  • Setup: Großes Gehöft inklusive Hauptfrauenhütte, Heiliges Feuer, Viehkraal
Ovahimba John

"... 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..."

John, Manager des Ovahimba Living Museum

Museum besuchen

×

Do you have a question about the Khwe Living Museum?

Have you read our FAQ already? Most of your questions will be answered there. If your question couldn't be answered you are welcome to write us an email to contact@lcfn.info

Kind regards, Taddeus
Manager of the Khwe Living Museum

Taddeus Chedau

×

Haben Sie eine Frage über das Khwe Lebende Museum?

Sollte die Antwort auf ihre Frage nicht in unserem FAQ (meistgestellte Fragen) zu finden sein, so können Sie uns gerne eine Email schreiben: contact@lcfn.info

Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Taddeus,
Manager des Khwe Living Museums

Taddeus Chedau