New Era (Windhoek)

6 February 2012

Namibia: Museum Revives Lost Culture

Twyfelfontein — The Damara women who are inhabitants of the Living Museum in Kunene say they do not have a problem with being bare-breasted as they are simply trying to showcase a "lost" culture.

"This is the way we used to dress and we are not ashamed. Tao da tite (We will not be ashamed) to be like this," said the women at the museum.

The young women even call themselves Tao da tite cultural roup.

According to them, some of their own tribesmen do not like the idea that they have to appear half-naked but they are adamant that they do not have anything to be ashamed of.

"However, others encourage us saying we are doing a good thing by preserving our culture," they added.

Alfonsia !Aibes, one of the women said, she felt a bit uncomfortable in the beginning but got used to the idea and the eyes on her body.

The women were very cheerful and did not look a bit uncomfortable, although some journalists who were part of the group visiting the museum, especially the females, felt a bit uncomfortable seeing the women like that.

In Namibia, the Ovahimba women are normally seen without a covering of their upper body and people have somehow got used to them, though in some cultures a bare-breasted woman can not walk around in public.

However, seeing a non-Ovahimba person like that somehow feels awkward and out of place.

Some San tribes also dress similarly but partially cover their upper bodies, especially the women.

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