It is believed that the Bushmen were first of Namibia’s aboriginal people of the area.
The history of the indigenous Ovambo in the area came to be documented only area 15th Century when European traders and religious missionaries came into Owambo as a whole on trading expeditions or with missionary work among the natives.
The northern and north central part of the region is a portion of the erstwhile Uukwambi Kingdom, the eastern part belongs to Ondonga Kingdom whereas the southern part was a wilderness dominated by nomadic Hai-Khum Bushmen.
The people of this area like the rest of the inhabitants of earthwhile Owambo lived in settlement called villages “omikunda” headed by the appointed Village-headmen (“mwenewOmukunda”) who were the political heads within a three tiered traditional authority structure.
The Village Headman who were both the player and referee in all spheres of human undertakings/live report directly to the “mwene woikandjo” – the second tier, and the latter to the King who was referred to as “Mwene wOshilongo”. Ascendance to these positions was by heritance or ascription. The economy of the Ovambo people in this area was predominantly crop production and domestic animal rearing.
They produce but seasonally, mahangu the main stay of their stapple food, pearl millet, soya beans/cow peas, ground-nuts, Kalahari pumpkins, sweet melons, and also gathered wild fruits to supplement diet.
Hunters provided wild animal meat, whereas gatherers collected wild spinach for relish. Fish is caught during summer seasons when Oshana are flooded. Animal skins and hides were used for clothing and bedding cloths. Woodbands provided fire wood, wood for building construction works, basketry, fish traps, utensils astefacts. Grass was used as roofsheets for huts, whereas selected fruitseeds and snail shells were processed into highly valued jewelry.
The people of these area extracted salt from the salt pans located north of Etosha Pan for household used and for commercial purposes in the then bartering system with neighbouring communities in exchange with grain, cattle, ivory, iron or already made metal works – axes, hoes, knives etc. Dugs or shallow well provided potable water to the communities during the dry seasons. The collective outputs form the diverse activities and social undertakings made it possible for the people to make their living.
The Ovambos lived in traditional houses called “Omaumbo” (singular eumbo”) made of palisade enclosure, log walled and grass thatched roundavells/huts ‘eendunda”. The family values the socialization system and process at a household and community level served as a kind of education, and people worshiped God for everything food occurred or happening to an individual, household or community. Traditional healers (eendundu) provided medical treatment for all known ailments; some of them predicted future events and occurrences. Selected elder women practiced midwifery.