The Himba, The Most Beautiful Tribals In Africa


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the Himba tribals of the Namib

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The Himba, The Most Beautiful Tribals In Africa

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  2. 2. The Himba are an ethnic group of about 20,000 to 50,000 people living in northern Namibia, in the Kunene region (formerly Kaokoland). They are a nomadic, pastoral people, closely related to the Herero, and speak the same language.<br />2<br />
  3. 3. The Himba - The most beautiful people in Africa<br />The Himba are a tribe of nomadic pastoralists who inhabit the Kaokoland area of Namibia. The Himba are actually descendants of a group of Herero herders who fled into the remote north-west after been displaced by the Nama. The Himba have clung to their traditions and the beautiful Himba women are noted for their intricate hairstyles which and traditional jewellery. <br />3<br />
  4. 4. As Himba men and woman wear few clothes apart from a loin cloth or goat skinned mini-skirt, they rub their bodies with red ochre and fat to protect themselves from the sun and also gives their appearance a rich red colour. <br />4<br />
  5. 5. The Himba are a cattle based pastoralist culture, although they also have sheep and goats, measuring wealth in cattle, and paying for their wives with them. <br />5<br />
  6. 6. The Himba adult women colour their skin twice a day with a mixture of ground red ochre, sap and butter, and rub this all over their skin and hair. This is called ‘otjize’. They also grind up herbs and use them as perfume. <br />If you do an internet search you will find a hundred good images of Himba women, but only a couple of the men. This is probably because the HImba women are so stunning to look at no photographer is going to waste film on the men.<br />6<br />
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  10. 10. A Himba woman, left, puts on the headdress a bride wears when she gets married—the day she leaves her parents&apos; homestead and goes to live with her husband&apos;s family. The Himba trace descent through both a child&apos;s mother and father, creating a network of relations that bind together scattered groups of herders in an often harsh environment. Although women remain members of their mothers&apos; families all their lives, at marriage they leave their fathers&apos; families to become members of their husband&apos;s. The wedding headdress stays within the matrilineage, passed down from mother to daughter.<br />10<br />
  11. 11. Boys are generally circumcised before puberty, as are girls, to make them eligible for marriage. Marriages are arranged at a daughter&apos;s birth and usually take place when the girl is between about 14 and 17.<br />11<br />
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  14. 14. A young Himba girl wearing the pre-puberty hair style of two braids in front of the face. Also, a good look at one of the pendants. The jewellery is usually made of iron or shell, strung on leather.<br />14<br />
  15. 15. The man make the women thick anklets to wear, the theory is that they protect the ankles from snake bites. The women also practise intensive breastfeeding with older babies and toddlers, presumably as a form of contraception, as well as a safe way of giving their child fluids<br />15<br />
  16. 16. Visitor from another tribe<br />16<br />
  17. 17. Older Himba men<br />17<br />
  18. 18. Himbaman and boy. Single men wear their hair in one single braid sweeping backwards from the crown of the head while married men tie their hair in a turban-like fashion with wood shavings mixed into it.<br />18<br />
  19. 19. Young Himba boys<br />19<br />
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  22. 22. The standard Himba home. The open hut constructed behind it is a kitchen, with food and utensils hung away from insects and rodents.<br />22<br />
  23. 23. Himba village meeting<br />23<br />
  24. 24. Married Himba women wore heavy anklets. They were made of hand wrought iron beads, then strung onto a leather support structure. Anklets such as these displayed wealth and were worn daily. <br />24<br />
  25. 25. Both Himba boys and girls are circumcised. During the circumcision, the boys are expected to be silent, whereas the girls are encouraged to scream. It’s reported that the female circumcision in the Himba is actually female genital mutilation, hacking out the clitoris to ensure chastity. I’m not sure if this works , as Red Cross workers report that Himba wives often have a couple of lovers as well as a husband.<br />25<br />
  26. 26. The Himba are a monotheistic people who worship the god Mukuru, but also practice ancestor worship as well. Each family has its own ancestral fire, which is kept by the fire-keeper. The fire-keeper approaches the ancestral fire every seven to eight days in order to communicate with Mukuru and the ancestors in behalf of his family. Often, because Mukuru is busy in a distant realm, the ancestors act as Mukuru&apos;s representatives.<br />26<br />
  27. 27. In the past half a century they’ve suffered pretty seriously from wars and droughts, and were nearly flooded out when a dam was proposed that would have flooded their territory. However, the construction of the dam was fortunately blocked. Their existence is now threatened by HIV, like so many people in Africa. <br />27<br />
  28. 28. Trinity<br />28<br />7/8/2009<br />