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Himba Tribe


Himba Tribe

Indigenous People of Namibia

Photo of a Himba tribe woman in the shade of a large cottonwood tree in the Namib Desert. The Himba tribe is from the northern Namibia region in Africa, in the arid Kunene area (previously called Kaokoland). As are many African tribes, the Himba people are pastoralists, breeding cattle and goats. They are a nomadic people, speaking a language called Dhimba (or sometimes Zemba) which is closely related to that of the Herero tribe. Their language is in the Niger-Congo group of the Bantu linguistic family. Note the beautiful red-brown color of her skin. This color is not natural, but due to the women applying a red-colored cream to their skin which is a mixture of butter, red ochre, ash, and various native herbs. This cream protects them from the sun, giving their skin a reddish-brown color. To the Himba women, the brown color symbolizes the earth and the red color represents blood and life. This same mixture is applied to the hair which is also braided.


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Image "NamibiŽ, Oktober 2008" by Martha de Jong-Lantink is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License - BY-NC-ND
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