An Enchanting Tribe of Africa.


A Himba woman.
Source: National Geographic

Why she is smoking herself?. What a unique hairstyle! Why she looks red in color! Do these questions arise in your mind while you see the lady's image?. These questions came to my mind also when i saw this image.This unique woman belongs to the South African tribal of "Himba" who are traditional pastoralists. Their native is Kaokoland which is in the Kunene region, a part of the north west corner of  the country "Namibia".
Himba herders
Source: Wikipedia

Namibia is the name of a desert which  is considered to be the oldest desert in the world. The dry land of Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia is one of the countries in the  South Africa and it is bordered by Atlantic ocean. on march 21,1990 Namibia obtained independence from South Africa.

These people herd cattle, goats and sheep, and the women cultivate maize and sorghum in their gardens during rainy season. the Himba speak Otjihimba language, a dialect of Herero. They worship their ancestors and the god "Mukuru".   They follow rituals concerning the sacred fire 'Okoruwo' .
They follow their traditional lifestyles and beliefs.


Himba boy. The hairstyle indicates that he is single.
Source: Wikipedia
Himba marriages are arranged by kin . As soon as a girl child is born, they decide her future husband; but she is  not  married until she attains 14  years.  Bride price is paid (normally one cow and two sheep). Men marry more than one wife. The wives co-reside within the same household  but each has her own hut.

The pregnant woman will be outside of the homestead, accompanied by a group of women when she is ready to give birth. The woman returns to the homestead immediately after the child born. Under the special protection of the ancestral spirits the mother and the child  spend one week in a  special shelter to the side of the headman's hut near the sacred fire. After a week has passed, the child is introduced to the spirits of the headman near the sacred fire .The children of Himba tribe are very independent.

Himba girl

The hair style of the Himba people indicates social status and age. Married woman wear head piece made from skin on top of their head with many streams of braided hair , colored and put in a shape with otjize which is  a mixture of butter fat and ochre. Married man wears his hair in a turban. unmarried man wears one plait backwards to their neck.Children have two plaits of braided hair until puberty. Afterwards the girl wears more than two plaits and they move it to the face over their eyes.They wear topless and decorated skirts or loincloths which are made of a goat skin.
The aim of applying  otjize to their body is  to protect them from the sun. They glow radiantly in a red tint from otjize. Not only protection  but otjize also defines their individuality .in addition it  makes them look beautiful. The himba women never take a shower,but give fragrance to themselves through the smoke of aromatic herbs in a pot each morning. Part of the daily duty  of a woman  is applying the reddish paste to their child's skin after she wakes up in the morning.

Himba village about 15 km north of Opuwo, Namibia.
Source: Wikipedia

There are an estimated 20,000 himba tribal living in Kaokoland. Himba tribe are one of the beautiful tribes in all of Africa.

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