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Living Museums in Namibia

A Living Museum is an authentic way of presenting traditional culture and has three main aims:

1

Fight against poverty in Namibia

By developing a Living Museum local communities can create a sustainable source of income

2

Preservation of traditional culture

With the work in Living Museums people in communal areas are encouraged to deal with their traditional culture to protect or regain important parts of their cultural identity.

3

Creation of a cultural and intercultural exchange

Visitors of the Living Museums can learn a lot about the interesting cultures of Namibian language groups and have a great opportunity to get to know the people of Namibia.

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Project completed – Aid supply for the Living Museums

Project completed – Aid supply for the Living Museums

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.

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Update: Corona crises emergency donations

John-Blankets

John, the manager of the Ovahimba Living Museum visited us these days in Windhoek and has now received the first delivery of blankets.

In the following weeks, all other Living Museums will also receive the blankets, as well as the Corona Emergency food supplies, for which we are still collecting donations through betterplace.

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Donation of blankets and update: Emergency aid for Living Museums

Donation of blankets and update: Emergency aid for Living Museums 220 blankets for 220 museum actors

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:

Corona emergency support on Betterplace

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!

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Corona situation in the Living Museums in Namibia: Call for donations - Every help counts

Corona situation in the Living Museums in Namibia: Call for donations - Every help counts

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.

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Project tour November 2019 - Visiting the Damara and Ovahimba Living Museums

Project tour November 2019 - Visiting the Damara and Ovahimba Living Museums

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.

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Living Museums in Numbers

In-Numbers

The tourism in Namibia is at a peak in 2017 and 2018 and the Living Museums are visited by quite a number of people in the last two years. Here are our statistics for the last year 2017.

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Voices from the Living Museums

Voices from the Living Museums

On the occasion of our 10th anniversary we asked the managers of the Living Museums to give a short statement on how they see the work in their Living Museum. Here are the answers:

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Ovahimba Living Museum Opening

Ovahimba Living Museum Opening

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!

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Living Museum of the Ovahimba to open soon

Living Museum of the Ovahimba to open soon

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.

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2. project meeting in the Ovahimba Living Museum

05_Museum_Setting

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.

Project report from Sebastian Dürrschmidt

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New Ovahimba project

Omungunda-Meeting

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.

Project report by Sebastian Dürrschmidt

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