The people of Baherero also called the ‘Herero tribe’ are said to have stayed in the South-western region of Africa for centuries of years. In the 17th century, they migrated from the central Africa to the southwest, and are now inhabitants of the now Namibia. In their quest to expand the lands of their cattle, they engaged in series of wars with the indigenes. It was in the year 1884 that the Germans decided to set their colony in the Homelands of the Herero. They equipped them with weapons to fight their enemies in bid to gain authority. After Herero tribe had suppressed its enemies, they then turned on the Germans but the Germans disarmed them. They took their lands, seized their cattle and took away the right they had over their mineral resources.

But the Herero tribe stood up against the German military, but many of them were killed. They were hanged from trees, and survivor were terrorized by the German troops. Their source of food was cut off and water was also poisoned. They were pushed away into the desert to die. However, few groups of Herero escaped the situation and crossed the Kalahari Desert into the land of Bechuanaland, known as Botswana today. They took with them their cattle and were given the permission to stay by Tswana. They became Baherero when they settled in Botswana and started picking up the pieces of their lives. Those that survived started using their labour and cattle in exchange for milk and crops, they even turned the milk into butter and sold it back to the Tswana. After living poorly for a long period of time, they built themselves homes with their herds of cattle and started living on their own without help from the Tswana. As from the moment onward, they became the key producer of beef in the country.


The Baherero people take pride in their culture and tradition, and they do protect it a lot from external influences. Their traditional dressing, traditional practices concerning marriages, language and family practices are all cherished aspects of their culture.

Traditional practices

Some of the cultural practices they engage in is similar to that of the Bantu tribes of Namibia. And they even perform rituals that has been long forgotten by some tribes; an example is otjiramue, it is the situation whereby cousins marry each other. Their boys are also circumcised, while the girls are prepared for marriage at a young age to become wives to the men who are to marry them in the future. For them also, men are highly respected at home and in the community because they are the head of their homes.

The Baherero takes pride in the herds of cattle owned by a person or a household. Since they are majorly cattle rearing pastoralists, cattle rearing and owning is very important to them. To show this, they have their women wear traditional dress with the scarf tied around their heads to look the horns of a cow.

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