AURUM Africa: a very special day in Namibia to document with images and video the Omagongo Cultural Festival also known as Marula Fruit Festival
In collaboration with Air Namibia and Namibia Tourism Board, AURUM Africa participated in the Omangongo Cultural Festival 2018 at Uukwaluudhi traditional authority homestead, Tsandi Omusati region 26th May 2018 (Oshituthi shomagongo, Marula Fruit Festival is a celebration that lasts 2-3 days between March and May, uniting the eight Aawambo communities of northern Namibia through the consumption of “omagongo”, a beverage made from the marula fruit).
Tk. Josia Shikongo Taaopopi, king of Uukwaluudhi, hosted this edition at his residence in the village of Onalushwa in northern Namibia. Uukwaluudhi is one of the 8 sub-tribes Ovambo that joined on the occasion for the production and consumption of Omagongo, an alcoholic drink obtained from the fruits of Marula.
Promoting development through cultural heritage, was the guiding thread of the Marula Fruit Festival 2018, which had as special guest Mr. Sam Nujoma, the founding father of independent Namibia and its first President as well as the creator of the Omagongo Cultural Festival.
Over 5000 people took part in the Festival, belonging to different ethnic groups from the various regions of Namibia. Men and women both dressed in their colorful traditional clothes.
In the gallery of honor, a large tent, together with the king seated on a throne adorned with kudu horns and at the feet a lion’s skin, the queen, Naandjali Taapopi and Sam Nujoma, also Hifikepunye Pohamba, (former President), Nangolo Mbumba (Vice President), Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila (Prime Minister), Peya Mushelenga (Minister of Urban and Rural Development) and Katrina Hanse-Himarwa (Minister of Culture, Art and Education).
In the days leading up to the Festival, the men carved the traditional wooden cups from which the Omagongo is drunk and produced small handcrafted tools made with horns of animals used by women to work the fruit of Marula and to obtain the drink.
In the mean time women hand-turned the terracotta pots in which they left Marula juice to ferment for three days. The same containers full of Omagongo paraded on the head of a hundred women, in honor of the king and his guests, before being placed on the tables of the rich buffet served during the Festival.
The event started with traditional songs and dances, performed by the Tjekushwana cultural group around a small Marula tree to show the production process of the Omagongo.
Institutional speeches about the importance of preserving the traditions and culture of ethnic groups, still considered as the cradle of humanity, followed the show.
The Festival continued with a rich banquet: hectoliters of Omagongo, musical entertainments and live performances during which the crowd got wild and danced under the hot sun of Namibia!
AURUM Africa gives appointment to the next Marula Fuit Festival in Ongandjera (north Namibia)!
Namibia’s Marula Fruit Festival is listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Omagongo is a traditional “wine” from the areas where Marula’s tree grows.
It is produced with the juice obtained from the fruits of Marula left to ferment in appropriate terracotta containers for three days. After fermentation, the liquid becomes clear and is ready for the consumption.
The drink has a high content of vitamin C and an alcohol content of about15 degrees.