The Himba people live in the Kunene region of northern Namibia. There are between 20,000 and 50,000 Himba people. The Himba are closely related to the Herero people. About 240,000 Herero people live in Namibia, Botswana and Angola. They belong to the Bantu group of African nations. The Himba and Herero speak the same language. The Himba raise cattle and goats.
It has to be said that Himba women do not wear lot of clothes. To somehow protect themselves from the sun they make a paste of butter fat, ochre, and herbs which they later put on their skin. That is why their skin is of reddish colour. The Himba believe that this colour is beautiful. It also has symbolic meaning as it unites the red colour of earth and blood which is the symbol of life. The hairstyle worn by Himba women is also quite unique. The hair is braided ("weaved") and covered with the specail ochre mixuture called "otjize". Before reaching the puberty girls have only two hair braids. After the puberty they are allowed to make more of them. Single Himba men have only one braid backwards from the crown of the head. When they get married keep their hair tied in the shape of a turban.
Himba woman making her perfume
Himba women have a rather interesting way to make them smell nice. How do they do it? They slowly burn certain aromatic plants and resins and use the smoke created to perfume and clean themselves. The Himba wear lot of leather jewelry. They often combine it with shells. Western style of fashion appears too but only on men. Both men and women walk topless. They wear skirts or loincloths made of animal skin. Adult women wear beaded anklets. They are used to protect them from snake bites.
Traditions And Customsfrom all over the world by Mislav Popovic