The Himba people of Namibia and Angola, ‘descendants of Herero’

Himba, Pygmies and Maasai are among the few African tribes which are popular globally for how they have maintained their culture.

This magnificient tribe inhabit the Kaokaland area of Namibia and along Kunene River in Angola. They are descendants group of Herero herders. They still maintain their traditional beliefs today by breeding and herding their cattle and goats and living a semi nomadic lifestyle.

On the day of her marriage, a Himba bride from Namibia is surrounded by female relatives who apply a mixture of ochre, aromatic herbs, and butterfat to her skin and hide clothing. She wears the traditional Ekori wedding headdress given to her by her mother as a symbol of her status, and the treasured conch shell pendant also passed from mother to daughter

Both women and men are accustomed to wear their traditional dress.

The red ochre cream that the Himba are famous for is made by pounding the ochre stone (Hematite) into small peaces. Then the fragments are mixed with butter, slightly heated by means of smoke and applied to the skin.

The main reason to apply ochre is to distinguish between men and women. Moreover, the red layer seems to help against the scorching sun radiation, while keeping the skin clean and moist.

Every morning and evening the Himba people heat some water until it boils and put some flour in it, oruhere ruomaere (porridge), and also some oil and drink is served. The flour is mostly from maize and mahangu flour as well. Mahangu is another name for pearl millet.

Supreme being 

The Himba people call their supreme Mukuru. They communicate with their supreme being through holy fire. The smoke fire rises to the heaven which enables them to communicate with their ancestors.


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