Main photo ©Paul van Schalkwyk
Main photo ©Paul van Schalkwyk
N amibia is a country rich in culture. From the Zambezians in the northeast, the Oshiwambo in the central north and the Ovahimba in the northwest, to the Herero and Damara in the central regions and the Nama and the San in the south and east, Namibians across the country are proud of their heritage, language and communities. As part of this year’s Namibia Tourism Expo’s theme, which centres around communities, we delved into our archives and scanned our bookshelves for books that feature, pay homage to and explore various Namibian cultures and communities.
With 13 different ethnic cultures and over 16 languages and dialects, the people of Namibia are an eclectic mix of communities. Learn more about Namibia’s different cultural groups in Venture Media’s annual publication, the Namibia Holiday & Travel.
BORN IN ETOSHA – HOMAGE TO THE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF THE HAI||OM
ABC Press 2009
No popular publications pay as much attention to people such as the Hai||om who lived in the Etosha area, and whose lives the proclamation of the park completely transformed. This book project is an indigenous historical resource on the Etosha National Park. It is designed so that it can accompany the reader on a journey through Etosha, from the Andersson Gate in the south to the Lindequist Gate in the east, reincorporating the culture and history of the area into the natural landscape.
Through the lens of the book, the reader can perceive the area from a different perspective: the fiction of Etosha as a vast and pristine wildlife refuge, unsullied by humankind, is replaced by a realisation of its being suffused with the history of its former human inhabitants.
KATUTURA – EXCURSIONS INTO WINDHOEK’S TOWNSHIP
Rolf Brockmann & Gunther Christoph Dade
Klaus Hess Publishers 2006
Namibia is a very attractive country for tourists. The first impression when arriving in the capital, Windhoek, for all those who know Africa a little, is certainly of surprise. It can’t be compared to Lagos, Cairo or Kinshasa at all. It’s a different Africa – a well-organised, tidy capital. The journey for tourists usually continues north to the Etosha Pan, to Swakopmund in the west or to the Fish River Canyon in the south, however, hardly any tourists visit Katutura at the beginning or end of his stay. The streams of tourists simply go past Windhoek’s largest suburb in which almost 10% of the country’s population live. The reader will be guided through this former township. This book will represent a collection of text and photos to demonstrate life in Katutura. It will be an excursion full of vivid impressions that will create a living atmosphere.
PATCHWORK LIFE : NAMIBIA’S BONDELSWARTS AND ROOINASIE
Namibia Development Corporation 2015
Patchwork Life is a celebration of the Nama culture, as told through the folklore and stories of Namibia’s Bondelswarts and Rooinasie people. With time and a changing world, many of these stories are no longer being shared, and without the retelling, they are destined to disappear. Given the generosity of local community members who opened their homes and their memories to share their stories, the book captures part of the storytelling tradition of the Nama people, reflecting the essence of life in the South that is infused with a strong connection to the land, to one another, and a deep sense of faith. This book helps to keep tradition alive so that future generations of Nama, Namibian and, indeed, international communities can celebrate these unique cultures.
THE PEOPLE OF NAMIBIA’S EASTERN ZAMBEZI REGION
– A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
Antje Otto & Mannfred Goldbeck
Gondwana Collection Namibia 2014
Namibia’s eastern Zambezi Region, formerly known as East Caprivi, is home to the BaSubiya, BaYeyi, MaFwe, MaFwe-MaMbalangwe, HaMbukushu, MaTotela and Khwe people. Once dominated by foreign rulers such as the BaLozi and MaKololo, as well as several colonial powers, today they represent a unique cultural heritage shaped by their multi-faceted history. Various traditional crafts are still practiced and satisfy most basic material needs. Many people also possess a profound knowledge of the indigenous plants that are utilised during building and manufacturing processes or in traditional healing practices. This was the first issue from Gondwana Collection in the ‘Gondwana Heritage’ series, providing a compact introduction to this remote and lesser-known part of Namibia, its people, history and heritage. It is the first published account of the superb crafts that have been produced by the people of eastern Zambezi over generations.
This article was first published in the Winter 2016 issue of Travel News Namibia.