Between Ghanzi and Guma, there are 13 Etsha villages. The residents of Etsha are refugees from Angola who lived a long time in Caprivi. During the war in 1969 between Angola and South Africa especially the Caprivi was the battleground and Hambukushu fled south to Botswana. Initially to Shakawe but later they were housed in Etsha where they fell apart according to their 13 tribes. Now there’s Etsha 1, 2 – to 13. In Etsha 6, according to the Lonely Planet, there is a museum where history is told about these villages. Obviously we want to learn as much as possible about the culture during our trip and we depart therefore from the main road and drive into Etsha 6. Because we don’t find the museum, we ask the way. Unfortunately we did not get an answer to our question but luckily a woman standing there tells us that the museum was shut down a few years ago. (This feedback we will let know to Lonely Planet;)
The encounter with this woman is amazing. Katenya Pituatho appears to be one of the women of the ‘Ngamiland Basket Weavers Trust’. This foundation was established in 1998 with a group of nearly 500 Etsha women. Now the numbers have declined but still many women are active in making baskets. The fine weaving techniques they have inherited from their ancestors and by selling these baskets women get out of poverty.
Katenya proudly shows us the baskets they sell in their shop. The baskets have all kinds of patterns that are linked to nature: zebra, ostrich, giraffe …
The baskets are made of palm wires. Different colors are natural colors. These colors are derived from plant roots from the Okavango Delta. Next to the store we see a greenhouse where the women cultivate the plants.
The women from the region learn various techniques and lessons in entrepreneurship in order to start their own business.
Katenya also appears to be the president of the school board. In one word, a woman with power! I like that … Nice to meet such women.
Through their website, you can also place orders!