THE MUSEUMS ASSOCIATION OF NAMIBIA AND THE DELEGATION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION TO NAMIBIA DONATE SAN CULTURAL HERITAGE CATALOGUES TO LIBRARIES IN NAMIBIA
The Museums Association of Namibia (MAN) has donated 200 copies of the //Ha//xae (!Xung), Ma/aos (Hai//om), Gǁa ǁKae (Ju’/hoansi), Tȇȇ /xai (Khwe), Dea /Xae (Naro), Stand Together (English) Catalogue/Mobile Exhibition Guide to the Directorate of Namibia Libraries and Archives Service (NLAS), in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture. The exhibition and catalogue are part of a project titled “Museum Development as a Tool for Strengthening Cultural Rights in Namibia” funded by the Delegation of the European Union to Namibia.
The mobile exhibition and catalogue produced by MAN, in collaboration with the Namibian San Council (NSC) were launched by the Acting Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Hon. Martin Andjaba, at Etosha Secondary School at 11 am on Thursday, the 20th of February 2020. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic that broke out soon after, the exhibition and catalogue were initially unable to travel and be distributed, respectively.
The Namibian San Council decided that the title of the exhibition should be in several of the different languages of Namibia’s San communities. The multilingual title reflects the diversity within Namibia’s San communities and the importance the Council places on the preservation of the different San languages as being central to the protection of their cultural rights. The exhibition and catalogue are in both English and Ju’/hoansi.
The exhibition focuses on the largest collection in the world of historical artefacts from Namibia’s San communities, collected by Dr Fourie in the 1920s. The collection is currently held in Museum Africa, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The exhibition and catalogue are intended to encourage discussion within Namibia’s San communities about their history and culture and to increase awareness and respect for the different San communities within Namibia.
A number of “hidden histories” that provide a San perspective on events are included in the publication. Ms Kileni Fernando, the NSC Secretary indicated that “San people are often packaged for tourists as a people without history, to that effect, we would like to give just a few examples of the many ways in which we have been involved and we hope that this will change the way people think about Namibian history”. The histories show the historical connections between different communities.
Since the easing of the restrictions related to the pandemic, the exhibition has travelled the country and over 500 copies of the catalogue have been distributed to different schools, individuals, and institutions across the country. The exhibition is in the form of six double-sided, 2.25m², pop-up banner walls, it can easily travel and is available for display in museums, schools, libraries, and public spaces. It is available for loan for free and the loan application form can be downloaded from the MAN website.
Finally, the catalogue is also available for free download in PDF format, from the MAN website and physical copies are available for free, from the MAN office. Moreover, because of the donation of the catalogues to the Directorate of Namibia Libraries and Archives Service, in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, the catalogues will be distributed to secondary schools and public libraries throughout Namibia. Ms Kileni Fernando, the NSC Secretary, says “The most important thing for us is that the exhibition and catalogue will encourage young people to discuss our culture and history with their elders”.
Museums Association of Namibia
Tel: +264 61 302230
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