Gallery - living-language-land

Tuuca Orodji

Tuuca Orodji


12x12" shadow box

Tuuca Orodji: Rainwater pan

  • Language: Khwedam
  • Region: Northeastern Namibia

The few thousand Khwe are one of the hunter-gatherer communities who until very recently lived by foraging in their ancestral hunting grounds in the north-eastern part of present-day Namibia. Some decades ago, these areas were declared a game reserve and since then the Khwe are no longer allowed to hunt; even the traditional gathering of bush food has been severely restricted. At the same time, farmers enter the former hunting-grounds of the Khwe with their cattle and destroy the natural resources – the water pans and the trees – both key to the livelihood of the Khwe community and the wild animals.  

In the semi-arid land of the Khwe, tuuca orodji ‘rainwater pans’ are the most important water resources in the bush.

For this piece I used as model the areal view of one such rainwater pan, which shows in its rings its ever decreasing volume as the dry season progresses, as well as the living plants it sustains along the way. I added animal/human tracks radiating to and from. This type of motif reminded me very much of tree rings!

For the full description, along with pronunciation, video and map, click HERE.