Photographer's Note

Once I have found the disk with the pictures from my African trip, I can show a few more, let's see if you would be interested.

Maybe the dream of every photographer going to Namibia is to see the Himba village. At least, it was my dream. I posted one photo many years ago, so you would not be bored.

The first settlements of the Himba people can be traced back to the early 16th century when they crossed the Angolan border and chose Kaokoland (nowadays called Kunene region) as their new homeland. The red ochre cream that the Himba are famous for is made by pounding the ochre stone (Hematite) into small pieces. After that, the fragments are mixed with butter, slightly heated using smoke and applied on the skin. the red layer seems to help against the scorching sun radiation while keeping the skin clean and moist, and to some extent, it blocks hair growth on the body.

One of the most remarkable Himba traits is that women are not allowed to use water for washing. This implies themselves and also their clothes. This dates back to the great droughts where water was scarce, and only men were allowed access to water for washing purposes. Apart from applying red ochre on their skin, Himba women do take a daily smoke bath to maintain personal hygiene. They will put some smouldering charcoal into a little bowl of herbs (mostly leaves and little branches of Commiphora trees) and wait for the smoke to ascend. After that, they will bow over the smoking bowl, and due to the heat, they will start perspiring. For a full-body wash, they cover themselves with a blanket so that the smoke gets trapped underneath the fabric. (

Here the view of the small hut and the boy preparing this red ochre. In this small house lived mother with five children (and a goat).

See in the large format here:

Another view of two boys preparing red ochre:

The mother with the youngest kid:

holmertz, ikeharel, Royaldevon, pierrefonds, tyro, tyro, jhm, jean113, COSTANTINO, papagolf21, Fis2, PaulVDV, PiotrF heeft deze opmerking als nuttig gemarkeerd

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13580 W: 141 N: 35197] (158680)
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