Part 2, Matsamo Culural Village Tour on the border of South Africa and Swaziland...

The Matsamo village consists of many huts such as these, made by the men using straw, wood, vines and cow's dung.  They are very well constructed.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Tom and Lois have particularly enjoyed the bushbabies nightly visit to the cup of yogurt on the little stand.
Whether or not the villagers of Matsamo actually live the primitive life they described as customary in these modern times, it was indeed interesting to learn about their history and culture.
There are various boma type structures to round up the cattle at night or in which to conduct meetings among the tribesmen.
The young man who provided us with a private tour of the village was enthusiastic and obviously dedicated to the customs of his heritage, many of which we assume continue today to some degree.
The chief, our tour guide's father, was in a meeting with another tribesman.
It was evident by his detailed descriptions that the male members of the tribe supersede the females of the tribe in many ways with the exception of the grandmother who is held in the highest esteem, even above that of the chief.
The baskets hanging on the side of the boma fence is for nesting chickens.
Women are married at very young ages and many men take two wives.  The first wife will have children, cook, clean and care for the family and continues to do so until the man decides to take a second wife.
The largest hut was for the grandmother where all the teenage girls sleep once past the age of seven or eight years old.
At this point, the first wife is "promoted" and she moves to another hut without a cooking area.  The new wife is then responsible for all of the household tasks while the first wife languishes in an easier lifestyle.  Interesting, eh?
Note the quality construction of the huts.
There is no limit to the number of children the wives may bear regardless of their status in the family unit. Its a lifestyle difficult for most of us to imagine, so far removed from our own reality.  
The chief's son, the youngest of his 25 children from two wives respectively with two wives, the first with 15 children, the second with 10 children.
After the tour ended, we made our way back to the car and proceeded to drive back to Marloth Park via the proper roads, avoiding the potholed roads.  By early afternoon we were back on the veranda waiting for visitors while Lois and I prepared a lovely dinner for the evening.
This low entrance to the huts is intended to keep invaders out and present a humble entrance for those who are welcomed.  A large stick us kept by the entrance in the event an unwelcomed visitors intrudes.
I guess some things never change especially in our generation of retired seniors, women doing most of the cooking and men taking on other household tasks.  For us, traveling the world over these past six years has led us each to fall into specific roles and tasks based on our skills and interest, less on gender identify roles of decades past.
Decorative items to be worn during festivities and when young women are presented to the chief as potential new wives for himself and others.
I prefer to cook. Tom prefers to do the cleanup and the dishes.  He does the heavy lifting of the 40 kg (88 pounds) pellets while I put away the groceries.  I wash the laundry and if helpers aren't available he hangs it on the clothesline.
The husband and wife sleep separately on mats on the ground, the man on the right, the woman on the left.  As we entered the hut we had to comply with this left/right ritual, man always on the right.  Hummm...or did he mean "man is always right?"
In many cultures established roles and tasks are distributed by a couple, regardless of gender, in a similar manner, based on expertise, ability, and interest.  This method works well for us and never, do either of us feel we are locked into a specific gender obligation.
Various baskets used for collecting water by the young women from the local river.
Yesterday, Saturday, we embarked on the Crocodile River drive in Marloth Park and once again has some spectacular sightings we'll share in tomorrow's post.  
The village was designed to generate revenue for the villagers and many areas were modern and tourist-friendly.
As always, last night's dinner at Jabula was fantastic along with the fun the four of us had sitting at the bar yakking with Leon, the owner.  Dawn, his wife, and co-owner was out of town visiting family and we kept him entertained as he did us!
For an additional sum, we could have stayed for lunch.  But when reviewing the online menu, we opted out on this when many of the items were wheat, corn, and starch-based and deep fried.
Soon, we're off to another bush braai in Lionspruit, the game reserve within a game reserve where we'll spend the better part of the day at Frikkie's Dam with Louise, Danie, and friends.  It will be a pleasure to share this delightful event with Tom and Lois as their time here is quickly winding down.  In a mere four days, they'll depart to return to the US.
Several areas were set up for dining and many tourists were dining as we walked through the dining area.
Have a fantastic day, yourselves!  We'll be thinking of all of you as we take photos while embracing today's fun event.


Photo from one year ago today, October 28, 2017:

Exterior photo of the hotel, the Real InterContinental Managua at Metrocentro Mall, where we stayed for two nights, to renew our Costa Rica visas. For more photos and details, please click here.


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