Meeting the Himba tribe is without a doubt one of the highlights of my recent trip to Namibia. The indigenous population lives in the Kunene region and follows ancient traditions from their ancestors and god Mukuru. Himba-women are known for their red hued skin tone and beautifully braided locks. However there is so much more beauty to discover within the tribe and their ancient, most sacred traditions than I have ever expected.
Age is just a number, any number…
Firstly, Himba people believe that every moment counts, they don’t engage in technology nor time. The latter results in them not even knowing how old they are or what day it is. There is absolutely no time pressure what so ever. They don’t plan ahead, they live now, in touch with nature and each other. Sounds liberating, right? Their children don’t attend modern schools. Instead they get homeschooled on survival, respect and tradition.
Although their lifestyle is not even comparable to our Western culture, I truly appreciate the creativity and freedom that results from their indigenous existence. It seems we have pushed that carefree spontaneity away ages ago. It has even gotten to the point where we cough up the big bucks to learn how to relax, stretch our bodies, breathe and neutralize our brains again. Think about it, we actually hire people to help us balance our feelings. Isn’t it mind-blowing how far we actually have drifted apart?
Himba live Chemical Free
Showering can be a tricky situation in the Himba village. With no electricity or nearby water well, the locals get their daily water supply from a river. If you don’t want to end up devoured by crocodiles, it’s best you don’t swim. To keep their body fresh and safe from insects, the Himba woman rub their hair and bodies with red paste called Otijize. It’s a creamy mix of red orchid, water and fat. They also smoke bathe in their huts, which results in their skin smelling like incense. No chemicals involved.
Harmony is everything
The Himba don’t live monogamous. In fact one man can have 5 or more women for himself, no the other way around. Although this is quite unusual and slightly shocking to acknowledge as a woman, my mind remains open. I notice a deep connection between the women leaving little to no room for competition within the tribe. The Himba-women support each other. Each lives in her own little house, but they always stick together to cook, clean or to school their kids. It doesn’t even matter if the kids are not her own. They are raised as one big family.
Although I indulge in the comfort of my bed that night, my trip to the Himba village brings a lot to mind. It’s an incredible honor to meet the indigenous tribe. Their freedom & mindset inspires me. I regret washing off my Otijize painted hand immediately after my visit. That stuff smelled amazing!