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Himba People


Himba People

African Cultures

The Himba people are an African tribe which practices monotheism and ancestor worship. Many other African tribes practice animism and some anthropologists consider monotheism a more highly evolved religion than animism. They call their god Mukuru who and they use an ancestral fire to communicate with the spirits of their ancestors. According to the religion of the Himba people, Mukuru created man, woman, and cattle from the same tree. Unlike most other monotheistic religions, Mukuru does not have unlimited power and ancestors can also greatly influence the world and events. One of the duties of the male leader of the family is to maintain the ancestral fire, where he prays to departed progenitors and asks for their blessings for his family. Whereas Mukuru controls most physical elements of the world such as the land, water, and the weather, ancestors control more local concerns such as sickness or the condition of their cattle. For example, if someone becomes sick, the Himba people believe that the ancestral spirits were somehow offended by the family's actions. 


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Photograph "Jeune femme Himba et son enfant" by Ecololo and is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License - BY-NC-SA
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