RUNDU - The Kavango people, known as riverine people, have often been described as among some of the friendliest people on the African continent.
The Kavango comprise of five distinct tribal groups, of whom nearly all live along the Kavango River, from Katwitwe in the west to Bagani in the east.
The people practise agriculture on the narrow strip of fertile soil along the Kavango River, from which they harvest large numbers of fish.
The men do the hard work of clearing and preparing the lands each year. The women do the planting and weeding and the men take over again to harvest and do the threshing.
The Kavango men are also eager wood carvers and their works are sold all over Namibia. They carve dolfwood, which grows in the
Kalahari sandveld and produce a variety of ceremonial drums, musical instruments and household items.
Ornaments, pot-plant stands, wall decorations, masks, kitchen utensils, tables and chairs and dugout canoes are standard items.
The women weave baskets and make clay pots and ornaments, which they eagerly sell to visitors.
A number of new agricultural projects are being undertaken in the region, with a view to increase employment opportunities. These include the growing of sugar cane, man-made forests and grapes.
Many traditions are still kept, like sick people are still taken to traditional healers as well as to hospitals.
Although they are still members of the local churches they don’t forget to pray to their ancestors, ask for help when someone is sick and to talk to them when the first millet seeds are planted at the time when rains start.