Lets dance /Hi//Ka//Kusi with non-player character Ju/'Hoansi women in Virtual Reality

Freja Bøcher Kaastrup Johansen, Mads Rosengreen Jørgensen, Thomas Kim Kroman Kjeldsen, Samkao Magot, Shorty Kandjengo, Joseph-David Isaacs, Selma Auala, Rosetha Kays, Emilie Maria Nybo Arendttorp, Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Kasper Rodil

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


We present a Virtual Reality (VR) implementation of a traditional Ju/'Hoansi dance called /Hi//ka//kusi. It is a dance of celebration of rain, food, and prosperity, complemented by a song of laughter, which is mostly performed by the women in the community. They are dancing in a circle while throwing a !nara melon (or other objects) to the woman dancing just behind them. Upon request by the Donkerbos community members to create a virtual reality application of the dance, we video-recorded a group of women demonstrating the dance. The videos were used to map people's figures, poses, and movements into 3d graphics and animations. The application runs in a low-poly environment on an Oculus Quest 2 VR headset and uses the in-built, inside-out tracking cameras for the throwing and catching interaction. The VR user becomes part of an immersive experience, catching and throwing while dancing among the non-player character (NPC) Ju/'Hoansi women. The Donkerbos community has, since the development of the prototype, confirmed the VR experience. They agreed that it represents their culture well and only requested for minor changes. Generally, we maintain that the creation of such cultural experiences is promising in regard to safeguarding cultural heritage practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 4th African Human Computer Interaction Conference, AfriCHI 2023
EditorsNobert Jere, Omowunmi Isafiade, Abiodun Ogunyemi, Obinna Anya, Aderonke Sakpere, Dharm Singh Jat
Number of pages5
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication dateJan 2024
ISBN (Electronic)9798400708879
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024
Event4th African Human Computer Interaction Conference - East London, South Africa
Duration: 26 Nov 20231 Dec 2023
Conference number: 4


Conference4th African Human Computer Interaction Conference
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
CityEast London
Internet address


  • intangible cultural heritage
  • Namibia
  • Virtual Reality
  • dancing


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