The Living Museum of the Mbunza, in Namibia is a traditional school for culture and at the same time a communal business for the local people of the Kavango. With this sustainable project, people whose communities are close to the museum are able to preserve their traditional culture and to generate an additional income.
The main focus of the Mbunza Living Museum is to provide visitors to the museum with a detailed and authentic insight into the traditional, pre-colonial culture. The Living Museum, situated at the Samsitu Lake, is a traditional village of the Kavango, who have lived in this area for centuries. An essential part of the interactive program of the Living Museum is the demonstration (and preservation) of the fishing and land cultivating culture of the Mbunza. The traditional presentation covers everything from everyday life (traditional cuisine, dance, music, fire making, basket and mat weaving, etc.) to bushwalks and fishing and finally to highly specialised techniques like blacksmithing, pottery and the making of drums.
The museum has a collection of music instruments that were used by their fore fathers. They use these instruments when doing dance and music practices.
The village has been built entirely from natural material and the actors of the Museum carry clothes made from self- tanned, with Mangetti nut oil refined leather. The outfit actually had to be reconstructed from old photographs.
The spoken language is Rukwangali, the most common language in the Kavango area. The guide translates into English. After having been convinced of the quality and the high standard of the Living Museum and after gaining an insight into the tradition, guests are able buy a small souvenir at the craft shop and to take a piece of Kavango culture home with them.