Living Museum of the San
The San on Omandumba
Since 2008 the Living Museum of the Ju/'Hoansi-San (also called Bushmen) can be visited on Omandumba.The museum is opened 365 days a year and due to its favourable position and the calm and interactive way of the San presenting their culture it is becoming increasingly popular.
Traces of San in the Erongo
The Erongo is home to thousands of rock paintings. Omandumba West is part of this and the paintings and archaeological findings show that a long time ago San used to live and hunt here and left their traces. Through colonisation and conflicts with other language groups the cautious Bushmen were driven out of this area a long time ago. Omandumba now attempts to give the San the opportunity to make a living with their Living Museum in an area where their ancestors used to live.
Insight into the hunter-gatherer culture
Visitors of the Living Museum get an interesting insight into the ancient hunter-gatherer culture and the traditional way of the San. Different programs are offered for example the bush walk in the Erongo, which visits the rock paintings and during which many plants and their uses are explained. The visitors can also go on a traditional hunt with the San. Other programs concentrate of the traditional life of the San within the setting of the village, whereby the interaction of the guests is highly valued.This means that visitors are welcome to help produce jewellery, medicine as well as bows and arrows. A highlight of every visit to a Living Museum is the display of ancient dances and rituals, but also funny games.
Living Museum – School and museum in one
The Living Museum is a mixture of school and museum. The demand is on the one hand to give Bushmen children the opportunity to rediscover their old and almost forgotten culture. On the other hand the San have established with the museum a lucrative business. The museum is run entirely by the San. 90% of the generated income stays in the Living Museum and 10 % goes to Omandumba for services rendered to the museum. Apart from the museum the San also run a small souvenir shop where visitors can purchase the handmade souvenirs like jewellery, bows and arrows, axes, tools and many more.
You will remember this day for a long time!
Harald & Deike Rust