Photographer's Note

A scene from Himba village. I do not know what this guy was explaining to the girls. I a village, there are mainly women and kids, the men are going with their goats.

The beautiful Himba women are renowned for their unique hairstyles and jewellery. Their stunning features and clothes, as well as noble proud
bearing have caught attention of visitors from the world. Himba dwellings maintain the ancestral style of dome or conical huts made from palm leaves, mud and cattle dung.

The visit to a Himba village is controversial. On one hand, it is kind of living scansen. But at the same time, maybe it is the way for them to survive? I was with a group, with the local guides. The guide paid them some money and later, we could buy some "souvenirs". They posed for photos, invited to see the huts. It seems that they still preserve their way of traditional life. But there is life around. I saw Himbas also in the cities, in supermarkets. There is a school for Himba children. They have to earn some money. How can they do this?

What makes the Himba people unique and immediately recognisable is their appearance and especially the result of a paste that women rub on their bodies and make them look like terracotta statues.

This red paste, thanks to which the Himba are known as “the Red People of Namibia”, is called otjize and it is usually smeared on the body, hair and even on clothes and jewellery.The traditional clothing for the Himba women is decidedly skimpy, they just wear a simple skirt of ombuku goat hide, leaving their breasts exposed and wearing leather sandals.

Also the men wear a skirt, though the goat hide is often replaced by more modern textiles and it is matched with non-traditional clothing, such as shirts or jackets, that somewhat clash with the surrounding environment.

The Himba women love wearing big adornments, mainly made of leather, iron or copper, and embellished with bone fragments, the most important and precious jewellery is given as a gift to the mother following the birth of her first child. It is a necklace called ohumba, consisting of a white large shell, the symbol of fertility, the shell comes from Angola and is hung between her breasts. (

I will upload two Workshops.

Himba woman hairstyle:

The only man in a village:

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13572 W: 141 N: 35185] (158644)
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