Namibia Himba Ladies

The Himba are indigenous peoples with an estimated population of 50.000 people living in northern Namibia, in the Kunene region (formely Kaokoland) and on the other side of the Kunene river in Angola.

Both the Himba men and women are accustomed to wearing traditional clothing that benefits their living environment in the hot, semi-arid climate of their area. The skit-like clothing is made from calfskin's or sheep skin and occasionally sandals for footwear. The women are famous for covering themselves with "otjize", a cosmetic mixture of butterfat and ocre pigment, to cleanse the skin over longer periods due to water scarcity and protect themselves from the extremely hot and dry climate as well as insect bites. 

The cosmetic mixture gives their skin and hair plaits a distinctive  orange characteristic, as well as texture and style. It symbolizes earth's rich red colour and blood the essence of life, and is consisitent with the OvaHimba ideal of beauty.

Robert Tamara Photography

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