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Himba: All You Need To Know About Africa’s Most Fashionable Indigenous Ethnic Group

Himba woman from Opuwa in Kaokoland in Namibia wearing her traditional ochre mixed braided long hair and carrying her son with one hand.

The Himba ethnic group have kept their ethnic individuality and culture in the seclusion of Kaokoland. This ancient tribe of semi-nomadic pastoralists live in the Kunene region of northern Namibia. There are between 20,000 and 50,000 Himba people.


Himba women have a rather interesting way to make them smell nice. How do they do it? They slowly burn certain aromatic plants and resins and use the smoke created to perfume and clean themselves. The Himba wear lot of leather jewelry.

They often combine it with shells. Western style of fashion appears too but only on men. Both men and women walk topless. They wear skirts or loincloths made of animal skin. Adult women wear beaded anklets. They are used to protect them from snake bites.

sleeping skin, and gourds for fermented cow’s milk. As the Himba trek from permanent homesteads to temporary grazing lands, the walking women churn milk into butter in the gourds they carry.


Written by How Africa

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