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The Living Museum of the Khwe
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San culture of Northern Namibia

The Living Museum of the Khwe

Together with a project group of the Khwe, originally a hunter-gatherer culture from the Khoisan language group, the Living Culture Foundation developed a new living museum in the north of Namibia. The ethnic group of the Khwe, with only about 4000 people in Namibia, has a turbulent history, determined by relocation, political restraint and marginalisation by other, bigger ethnic groups.

The traditional culture of the Khwe is one of the most endangered cultures in Namibia. Whereas the language Khwe-||Ani (still spoken by about 8600 people in southern Africa), is still used as a mother tongue especially in Namibia and is thus at least currently not endangered, the transfer of the traditional culture looks somewhat different. Here the development of a Living Museum comes just in time, as it could be the last opportunity for the Khwe to pass on their traditional values to the next generation.

The presentation of the traditional culture of the Khwe

The Living Museum offers a fascinating impression of the ancient hunter-gatherer culture of the San. The museum village consists of some traditional gras huts around which the pristine way of life and pre-colonial culture of the Khwe is illustrated. Visitors experience traditional dances, receive an insight into the ancestral world and see, smell and feel the historical life of the Khwe. Hereby emphasis is put on presenting the old hunter-gatherer culture as authentic as possible.

Many of the programs offered are interactive, for example guests can test their skills forging an arrow or braiding a bracelet from papyrus. A short walk through the bush, which is frequently visited by antelopes and other wildlife from the nearby National Park, is also part of the program. Here the Khwe demonstrate their excellent talent in tracking and trapping.

You will not forget your visit to the Living Museum!


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