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About Himba Village

On the plains of northern Namibia in the Kunene region live the Himba. You'll also find a few of them living on the Angolan side of the Kunene River though. About 20 000 to 50 000 indigineous people still live in Himba villages today!

Photo by Sntgmdm

It's tradition for women to braid each other's hair. They usually weave plastic hair into their natural hair and then cover the hair with an ochre mixture.

Photo by Ana_ge

A Himba village usually sees a group of extented family living in one place. The tribe uses a small area to set up their work shelters and huts, usually in a circle. The circular layout means that the Himba can keep their livestock in a central enclosure at the heart of their village.

Photo by Namibnat

If you do decided to go on a tour of a Himba village, you'll learn that the fire and the livestock (that are both kept in the centre of the homestead) are closely woven into the tribe's belief in ancestor worship. The fire represents ancesteral protection while the livestock is said to allow proper relations between human and ancestor.

Photo by Heatheronhertravels

Within a Himba village, the women work just as hard as the men do... if not harder. It's usually up to the men to sort out all the political affairs and legal goodies. While the men do this kind of thing, the women are doing things like looking after the children or carrying water to the village.

Photo by Ana_ge

From the photos above, no doubt you can see that the Himba don't wear a whole lot of clothing. The women mix a paste of otjize (butter fat and ochre) and smear it on their bodies. The paste gives the skin a reddish tinge and is said to protect their skin from the sun.

For a taste of Namibia's anything-but-westernised culture, make sure you schedule in a trip to a Himba village when in northern Namibia.



 

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