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The Traveller's Magazine
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“The Himba, their skins rubbed with red ochre…” Namibia’s rich and diverse cultural traditions are rooted in the indigenous communities still living in secluded places around the country. We discover the Himba people through one photographer’s lens.

The quote from Namibia Tourism from the beginning of the post continues like this,

The Himba, their skins rubbed with red ochre, have the appearance of having been forgotten by the rest of the world, but this is only as a result of their extreme isolation and conservative way of life. While many of the younger generation have accepted some of the changes and are being educated in the Namibian national system, and will in time, abandon many of their older customs and traditions. However, most of the older generation still cling to their traditions and when their children return from school or visits to town, strongly encourage them to dress or undress, according to traditional style, and to live like a true Himba.

Visiting the Himba is possible through a number of tours, but this should be undertaken with sensitivity and respect for their traditions and lifestyle.

Africa’s red women

These photos of Namibia’s Himba community was captured by Marc Veraart, a travel reporter from the Netherlands. They live in Namibia’s Kunene region to the north and live in small hamlets of huts and shelters that surround a central “ancestral” fire. The women, as you can see in the photos, rub themselves with butter fat and ochre, making their skin a deep red colour. The rich earthy colour symbolises life and beauty in Himba culture.











Namibia is one of the most popular destinations on the African continent. From the ancient Sossusvlei Desert to the country’s coastal National Parks, there’s plenty to see and do while you’re here.

Flights to Namibia

It’s incredible to see traditional cultures continuing into the 21st century, don’t you think?

Imgs: Marc Veraart / Flickr cc.

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