David Livingstone Birthplace

Austin Ndala Explains Items from the David Livingstone Birthplace Collection

Reading Time 1 minute
Date 28 October 2019

Austin Ndala is a Next Step Initiative trainee with the David Livingstone Birthplace Project. As a trainee, he gets to work in all aspects of museum and heritage practice, from community engagement to conservation.

In our latest YouTube video he explains the use and meaning of African objects from the museum collection, which is currently held in a temporary storage facility. The David Livingstone Birthplace is currently undergoing restoration as part of a £6.1million project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Government and Historic Environment Scotland, to transform the Scottish explorer’s birthplace, due to re-open to the public in 2020.

Austin explains,

‘I want to take you through some of the African objects in our collection. We have a wide collection of objects that relate to African culture and David Livingstone’s life in Africa. These objects have a very interesting background and through them we are able to understand what David Livingstone would have experienced while in Africa.’

‘For example, there are objects that tell us about how 19th century African people prepared their food, how they understood as causes of diseases/illness and their cure as well as how they defined and approached issues to do with body, beauty and fashion.’

‘Although there are some changes in the beliefs system, most of these objects still make an important part of African culture today.’

You can find out more about other objects in our Collections Playlist on YouTube.

Also see more postings at in the David Livingstone Birthplace Project Blog.

National Lottery Heritage Fund
Scottish Government
Historic Environment Scotland