Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tsumeb Copper Festival

For the last four years, the town of Tsumeb in northern Namibia has held a three-day 'Copper Festival'.

Tsumeb owes it's existence to a very rich ore body which was mined for almost 100 years.

Even though the mine itself has closed, the custom copper Smelter still exists, processing ore from other mines in Africa and abroad, a lifeline contributing to the continuous existence of the town.

I took a morning off building and drove into town to take a few pics:

The event is held in the United Nations park in the center of town - an opportunity for local businesses, organizations and vendors to display and sell their wares.

Various activities are organized during the three-day event to attract people, including music shows and cultural dancing. Stalls selling food and beer become popular meeting places.

Children from one of the local schools take part in a parade during the opening ceremony.

Frances Galton was an English explorer who first noted the existence of the Tsumeb Ore Body in 1851.

A vendor selling toys and other odds 'n ends - loved the pink tent.

Local handicrafts on display.

A woman having her 'hand points diagnosed' - I've got no idea what this is about.

One of the many colorful stalls.

Scary masks for sale - I wouldn't like to bump into one of these on a dark night.

Halloween was never an event in Namibia but, I've noticed that in recent years radio and news media here have been promoting it.

Spider Man blow-up dolls ... *ahem*

This guy asked me to take a family pic - I just love the woman's face, so open ... uncomplicated.



  1. What a colourful show this is. I love the different stalls. I never knew that copper is still the lifeblood of Tsumeb. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend. Greetings, Jo

  2. Thanks Jo - I tried to include as many colorful pics as possible ...

    ... yes, I guess you could say that copper is still the lifeblood of Tsumeb but they're trying to diversify and attract the manufacturing sector - i don't know when last you were in the town but it took quite a nosedive after the mine closed.

    You have a great weekend too.

  3. There are some beautiful stalls there, love the local handicrafts. Halloween was never celebrated in S.Africa when I was there, maybe things are changing, it is quite big here in tyhe UK to mu surprise. I agree I don't want to bump in into one of those masks on a dark night!!
    As for the spider man dolls - no comment. Diane

  4. Hi Diane - yeah, as a kid I only knew about Halloween through reading American comics ... in the last couple of years I've been hearing it promoted on radio a lot - another excuse to party I guess ...

  5. A bit more colorful than our local farmers market, I think. I loved the pink tent too. And some of those basket are very similar to the Native American ones I saw on a trip earlier this year. Spiderman, what can you say?!--Inger

  6. I took a lot of pics of the many colors Inger but can't post a lot on here - the guy in the pink tent would have looked better if he was smiling I think ...

  7. Halloween is probably responsible for all my childhood fillings, I used to collect bagfuls of candy...spiderman does whatever a spider can, there he hangs next to the zebras...and here I thought africa was a desert,all that green, looks like canada

  8. I guess the north of Namibia is really lush and green and the south is dessert.

    I liked the picture of the lady with the bright smile too.

    I am planning a trip to the Maldives in December next year. I guess it is still too far from Africa :)

  9. thanks for being tour guide.
    Very interesting, that mask was very popular here and right now I can't think of the movie that made it so.
    oh, I'm sure you weren't the only white guy there but the pics have me wondering what the ratio is.
    Also, is "white" or "European" or something else used to describe the non-native people?

  10. Hehe Monica - I didn't notice that Spiderman was hanging with zebras ...

    Yeah, the north-eastern parts of Nam are quite green ... the park in the picture is a special patch in the center of town - a few years ago a group of businessmen tried to hijack it and build a shopping mall there - thankfully they were stopped in their tracks ... they almost 'paved paradise and put up a parking lot' ...

  11. Hi Fazlisa - yeah, her face is beautiful hey -

    I've only seen pics of the Maldives and heard reports from friends who've been there ... sounds like a great place to visit but, I believe that the islands are threatened by rising ocean levels ...

  12. Thanks lisleman - was the movie 'Halloween'? or one of the Freddy Kruger movies (maybe they're one and the same - I haven't watched them) ...?

    I'm speaking under correction but I think that white people make up about 1% of Namibia's population - and sadly, after 20 years of independence, people here are still grouped by tribe or skin color - I guess this will never change ...

  13. Looks to have been a good local do. The hand things might be this;

    Just a little surprised to see a teletubby hanging in one tent!


  14. Thanks for the links Dave - still sounds like Greek to me - but who am I to argue with thousands of years of medical research ...

    ... I wish you hadn't shown me the Teletubbies - I know what my nightmares are going to be about tonight ... :)

  15. What a difference between the pink tent products,Spiderman and the handmade items on sale in another tent!Cheap and nasty items have infiltrated all of these markets over here too.
    Halloween was originally an Irish feastday not a festival! All Hallows Eve went to America with Irish immigrants at the turn of the century and came back as Halloween!
    We celebrate All Souls day on the last day of Oct and All Saints day on the first day of Nov.

  16. Thanks for the info Peggy - I never knew about the Irish roots of Halloween (in fact I knew virtually nothing about it, except that kids go around in costume trick 'n treating) ...

  17. That toy vendor doesn't seem to enjoy his job very much.