Sunday, 28 March 2010

Omaongo Festival

Yesterday I was invited to the Omaongo Festival which was held at the palace of the Queen of Oukwanyama. This festival celebrates the harvest of the marula fruit and the drink which is made from it, called omaongo. Many important people attended including the President of Namibia. Everyone wore their best Ovambo clothes. The women wear pink and add beads and shells to make their dresses even more beautiful. Do you remember the red powder which the Himba women use to cover their skin? The same red stone is what the Ovambo women use to dye their clothes pink. The men wear red and white striped shirts with a waistcoat and a hat with a large feather; they sometimes add leopard skin materials to their clothes as decoration. First there were many speeches. Once the festival began, we were entertained by marching by some people from the Herero tribe,

by a drama about how the marula fruit is made into the omaongo drink
and by dancing.

After this, the queen provided omaongo drink and food for everyone. We were invited into the palace which was a very complicated place. Thousands of tree trunks divided the whole space into corridors and areas in which were shaded spaces to sit or houses.
We were honoured and invited to sit in the Queen’s sitting room in which was her throne. We were given omaongo to drink and some fish and a whole chicken to eat – a sign that we were VIPs!
My dress came in useful - it was just the wrong colour!
This is my last blog as term will be ending this week. I hope you have enjoyed it and sharing some of my experiences. I am looking forward to seeing you all again after your holiday.

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