Olukonda National Monument
Olukonda - photo album
The monument Olukonda National Monument is located In the beautiful plains of the Northern Namibia, amidst Makalani palms, Mahangu fields and Owambo homesteads.
Olukonda Monument can be reached taking tarred road from Tsumeb (245 km), the Etosha National Park (206 km) or the Ruacana Falls (215 km).
Coming from the direction of Tsumeb, turn to the south from the junction of the Oniipa-Onandjokwe-Eenhana road, 8 km before Ondangwa. Then follow a sand road about 5 km, and you are at Olukonda.
The place is accessible to sedan cars, even in the rainy season.
Missionary Martti Rautanen (Nakambale) 1845 - 1926
Olukonda was one of the first Finnish mission stations in Ovamboland and was founded in 1871. Throughout the German colonial time, it was the "Capital" of the North.
From 1880, Olukonda was the home of the pioneering Finnish missionary, Rev. Martti Rautanen (Nakambale) until his death in 1926. He and his family are buried in the local cemetery, like many kings of the Kingdom of Ondonga.
Among other things, Dr. Rautanen translated the Bible in the Ndonga language. He was married to Frieda Kleinschmidt, daughter of the well-known Rhenish missionary F. H. Kleinschmidt.
In 1889, Rev. Rautanen erected the first church building of Northern Namibia at Olukonda. A mission house was built four years later in 1893. Both buildings still exist, and in 1992 the Government proclaimed them National Monuments of Namibia.
Even though they are protected by law, the upkeep and maintenance of the Monuments are the responsibility of the owner, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN). Thanks to sponsorship by the Government of Finland, the church was renovated in 1992, and the mission house in 1995.
The Nakambale Museum was opened on the premises of the National Monument in May 1995. The museum is a member of the Museums Association of Namibia.
Old mission stations were founded close to the rulers of the region . The present Court of the King of Ondonga is near Olukonda. King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas is a patron of the museum, along with the First Ladies of Finland and Namibia, Mrs. Eeva Ahtisaari and Mrs. Kovambo Nujoma.
The main objective of the exposition of the museum is to introduce to the public, the Church, Mission and local cultures of the North, with respect to both the past and present.
Olukonda is a place definitely worth seeing for a visitor interested to learn more about Namibian history and indigenous culture and customs. The exhibits inform one about old missionary architecture, the Rautanen family, Olukonda, the development of the Church, everyday missionary life, traditional music instruments, decorations, toys, household utensils, livelihoods, political history of Ovamboland, and the kings of the North.
Some unique objects in the Museum were donated to Namibia by Finland.
A very special part of the Museum is a full-scale traditional Ndonga homestead - an open-air museum of its own.
In the homestead you can enjoy Owambo food, prepared in the traditional way and see examples of domestic activities. Please book in advance. Experience unforgettable nights close to nature in the traditional hut accommodation. Or you could choose to stay at the ELCIN Guest House in Oniipa, or in one of the hotels in the nearby towns of Ondangwa and Oshakati.
Facilities: museum, rest camp, camping and caravan sites, traditional hut accommodation, missionary house accommodation, domestic demonstrations, traditional meals.
Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 8.00-13.00,
Saturday: 8.00-13.00, Sunday: 12.00-17.00.
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