African Fashion

Himba Tribe: The Unique Fashion Of Namibian’s Red Women

HIMBA WOMAN IN KAOKOLAND - FLICKR _JBDODANE
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The ancient semi-nomadic pastoralist tribe in the arid lands of Namibia, known as the Himba, have been favorites to photographers. Their fame for the decorated styles spread beyond the remote Kunene region, where they live, tending livestock. A practice that men do not perform, Himba women apply a paste of butter, fat and red ochre (sometimes scented with aromatic potion) called otjize to their skin and hair each morning, giving them a distinctive red tint. There has been a lot of speculation about the origins of this practice, and some argue that it protects the skin from the sun or repels insects. But Himba considers it an aesthetic act of beautification, a traditional type of makeup that is applied every morning after waking up. This practice has survived generations of war, farming, and drought.

Himba woman flaunts her long dreadlocks created with a mixture of ground ochre, butter and goat hair
After a year of marriage or following the birth of their first child, Himba women add an elaborate animal skin headdress to their hairstyle

They are mostly pastoral people and are welcome to visitors who come to witness about their way of life.

Several women remove the tick from the goat, which can take hours on the hand, like Himba do it, Sometimes children help.
Women do most of the work in and around the house, including milking goats and storing milk in barrels; some are made from old bottles.
Women do most of the work in and around the house, including milking goats and storing milk in barrels; some are made from old bottles.

The Himba houses, numbered between 30,000 and 50,000, are round structures built posts of saplings, with a domed roof coated in mud and manure, or simple huts made of mud.



The houses are made of mud and cow dung. These materials stay cool in hot weather.
This man’s simple braid indicates that he is not married. Once he does, he will cover his hair for the rest of his life, except when he attends the funeral.

Whether it is a protective measure against the hot environment or just a cultural trait, the Namibian Red Women of the Himba tribe have a unique sense of fashion and style that has become an iconic image of Africa.

The stunning Epupa Falls on the Cunene River. The Namibian government wants to build a huge dam here and is currently negotiating with the Himba people

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Abisola Zainab
the authorAbisola Zainab
Zainab, Zee for short, is a fashion enthusiast. She is a budding individual with the aim to inspire others by providing engaging contents to entertain and inform her readers relating to their belief and lifestyle. A lovely sister and aspiring Engineer. Connect with her on her socials

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