Kabwata Cultural Village, open daily from 8:00 to 18:00, is actually home to the 72 woodcarvers, basket weavers and artists who showcase their products here and make a living from selling them. Historically, woodcarvers and craftsman from all nine provinces of Zambia were invited to make their home at Kabwata Cultural Village to produce traditional handicrafts, promote quality craftsmanship and maintain strong links with Zambia’s cultural heritage.
In the colonial era this area was part of a larger township populated by dwelling huts. The Government of Zambia later acquired the land for the cultural village and designated it a “national monument” preserving it as a reminder of the past (British rule ended at independence in 1964). Comparing Kabwata Cultural Village and its immediate surroundings with the rest of Lusaka gives an appreciation of the long and often difficult road Zambia has travelled to become the modern country that it is today.
Various indigenous artworks, including human figurines, and carvings of animals and birds, are all exhibited and sold here as Zambian gifts and souvenirs. Other works are beads, drums, spears, and walking sticks. You will also find African printed fabrics, tie-dye and batiks. Traditional dancers perform in the Kabwata Village central arena over weekends and public holidays.
Tigwilizane Restaurant in Kabwata Village is an uncommercialised traditional restaurant. All the main Zambian delicacies are available, the most popular being the staple food nshima served with indigenous local chicken; nshima with vegetable in peanut sauce called ‘ifisashi’; nshima with either dried or fresh fish; local indigenous egg plant ‘impwa’ and butterfly lava ‘ifinkubala’. Authentic traditional food cooked from recipes passed down orally from one generation of women to the next.
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