The indigenous Himba Tribe and their culture

The indigenous Himba Tribe and their culture

The southern African country of Namibia is the home and land of the brave, by all standards, it is indeed a beautiful country. Since her independence on the 21st of March 1990 when she attained independence from South Africa, the country has registered herself on the global map. One of the reasons for the reckoning is the large tourist attraction the nation courts.

A visit to Namibia will not be considered complete if it does not include a safari tour to see the Indigenous Himba tribe. If you have ever looked through a travel brochure from Namibia, the odds are high that you would have seen a picture of a member of the Himba tribe. The Himba people are quite popular, not only in Namibia but around the world. The popularity owes to the way of life of the tribe. There are a lot of interesting culture that is unique only to the Himbas.

Like the Japanese who have lived In Isolation for a long time, the Himba people typically live in isolation and are wary of external influence, this does not mean that they are unfriendly. In fact, the Himba people are very friendly and warm. This explains why several of the tribe’s tradition and culture stands firm till date. With a lot of Himbas being farmers, it is interesting to find out some of their culture:

The Himba people are polygamous, it is not unusual to also find cases of child marriage. It is usually the norm rather than the exception. The Himba people will usually get married early and go on to build a close knitted family; This is not just a culture of the Himba people, it is also common amidst several African tribes. The hairstyle of a married woman is also different from that of single people, that is another culture of the Himba people.

 The Himba people are also religious, several of them worship the ancient gods of their fathers. Perhaps the most interesting culture of the Himba people is the fact that the tribespeople do not take a normal bath. At least, they do not take their bath with water. This is due to the fact that the Himba people live in one of the most arid regions on the planet. The climatic condition and the unreliability of finding portable water has resulted in the pattern of this culture.

This has not resulted in a lack of personal hygiene; they apply a red ochre on their skin and partake in a daily smoke bath in order to maintain their hygiene. They put smouldering charcoal in a little bowl of herbs and wait for the smoke to ascend. Once the smoke starts to ascend, they bow over the smoking bowl. The effect is nearly immediate as they begin to perspire. To get a full body bath, they cover themselves up with a blanket to trap the heat.

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