Mantenga Cultural Village
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
We Roam Swaziland, stopping in small towns and exploring the remote corners. Eventually we find out way to the Mantenga Cultural Village, and camp nearby. In the morning we see a spectacular display of traditional dancing, then are toured around a traditional Swazi house compound.
All the houses are made of tightly woven straw, and the family structure and relationships are carefully divided up into the many huts that form the family compound. Because traditionally a man can have many wives, the details on which wife lives where within the compound is very important. There are separate huts for young boys and girls, and a separate hut for the man’s mother.
It’s a fascinating tour and window into the world of traditional Swaziland, and our guide says roughly 20% of people in Swazi still live this way. In fact, he himself grew up in a straw hut almost identical, before going to university to study Tourism Management.
My mind races at the thought of the development he has seen in his life – from a straw hut to university. He now has a big-screen touch phone, and when we mention things about Canada he just says “Yep, I’ve seen that on TV”.
Swazi is a fascinating place, and everyone we meet is outrageously friendly.
We are loving our time here, though the beach is calling. After many months inland, we’re both really looking forward to some quality beach time in paradise. I think the next country will provide just that.