Himba Tribe
The Himba singular: OmuHimba, plural: OvaHimba are indigenous people of northern Namibia, in the Kunene Region and other side of Kunene River in Angola, with an estimated population of about 50,000 people. The OvaHimba are semi-nomadic, pastoralist community who breed cattle and goats, they are distinguishable from the Herero community of northern Namibia culturally.
They speak Otjihimba, a dialect of the Herero language.
Women tend to perform more labour-intensive work than men do, such as milking cows, fetching water, building houses and all domestic chores. Men handle political tasks and legal trials.
In the Himba culture, a sign of wealth is not the beauty or quality of tombstone, but rather the cattle you had owned during your life time, represented by horn on your grave.
Despites their plagued by severe droughts, guerrilla warfare (during Namibian struggle for independence and Angolan civil war) and German forces that massacred other groups in Namibia, they have persevered and their people, culture and tradition remain.
Himba women
Himba women
The women are famous for rubbing their bodies with otjize a mixture of butter fat and ochre, believed to protect their skins against the harsh climate. The red mixture is said to symbolize earth’s rich, red colour and blood that symbolises life.
The Himba worship their ancestors and the god Mukuru. The ancestors act as Mukuru’s representatives. Their homes surround with an okurwo( ancestral fire) and their livestock, both closely tied beliefs of ancestors. The fire represents ancestral and livestock allows for good relations between human and ancestor.
Hairstyles indicates age and social status. A young girls usually has two plaits (ozondato) of braided hair, the form being determined by the oruzo membership (patrilineal descendant group). Just before puberty, the girls wear long plaitlets worn loose around the head. When the girls have completed their puberty stage, the ekori festival takes place and she receives the ekori hairdress made from tanned skin of goat or sheep with three-shaped points. Girls of some groups have their hair shaved off except for a small part on top of the head. The shaved hair is then used to make plaits, which are woven into the remaining hair at the top of the head and hang down over the face. When she has been married for about a year or so she get a child then the ekori hairdress is replaced with by the erembe hairdress made from the skin of goat’s head and held under the hair at the back of the two thongs. From then on the ekori is worn only during ceremonies occasions. Himba males also wear different hairstyles, such as the single plait, the ondato,worn by young boys down the back of the head, two plaits, ozondato, worn by Himba men who are of marriageable age.

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