Kabwata Cultural Village is actually home to the 72 woodcarvers, basket weavers and artists who showcase their products here. It’s a great tourist place to visit but it is also popular with locals with a keen eye for quality Zambian products. You’ll have the opportunity of meeting the creators of these authentic Zambian wares, and their families too. Kabwata Cultural Village is open daily from 8:00 to 18:00. You’ll find Kabwata Cultural Village along Burma Road in the Kabwata Estates in Lusaka. It was established in 1974 when it became home to the Kabwata Visual Arts and Cultural Association – KAVICA. The association has 120 subscribed members.
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. So this really is a chance to witness life in the city as it was in the 1950s and 1960s, in the days when Zambia was under British rule, which ended at independence in 1964.
Historically, woodcarvers and craftsman from all nine provinces of Zambia were invited to make their home at Kabwata Cultural Village to produce traditional handicrafts in order to promote quality craftsmanship and maintain strong links to the cultural heritage of Zambia. So if you appreciate art, culture, history and community, then you’ll enjoy a visit to the Lusaka attraction of Kabwata Village. Any purchase you make, since bought at source, will make a direct contribution to the people’s livelihoods.
Kabwata Cutural Village is part of the tourist ‘Lusaka tour’ which includes the city centre, the first home of Dr Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia’s first president), the museums and other places of interest. On the tour you will be able to compare Kabwata Cultural Village and its immediate surroundings with the rest of Lusaka, helping you to better appreciate 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. Other works are beads, drums, spears, and walking sticks. You will also find African printed fabrics, tie-dye and batiks. To showcase Zambia’s cultural heritage, traditional dancers perform in the Kabwata Village central arena over weekends and public holidays. The atmosphere here is friendly and welcoming – you’ll experience warm Zambian hospitality first hand, making this a great Lusaka attraction to visit.
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 the famous vegetable in peanut sauce called ‘ifisashi’; nshima with either dried or fresh fish; local indigenous egg plant called ‘impwa’ and even butterfly lava – called locally ‘ifinkubala’! You’ve just got to give ifinkubala a go – they taste somewhat like chicken. You don’t get much more authentic than this – traditional food cooked from recipes passed down orally from one generation of women to the next.
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