July 7, 2022


  • June 16, 2022
  • 2 min read

Many people have seen pictures of the Himba people as often as we cannot count but little did we know about the country they are from or how they live.

Just like the Maasai people of Kenya, Red Explorer NG brings you various facts about the Himba people.

The Himba are an ancient tribe in Namibia. They are pastoral people who breed cattle and goats.

History has it that Himba women perform more domestic task than the men. They are in charge of labour-intensive work such as carrying water to the village, building homes and milking cows. While Himba men handle political tasks and legal trials.

Himba homes are simple, cone-shaped structures of saplings, bound together with palm leaves, mud and dung.

The Himba culture does not measure the size of their wealth by beauty, but rather the cattle you had owned during your lifetime, represented by the horns on your grave.

The women are famous for rubbing their bodies with otjize, a mixture of butter fat and ochre, believed to protect their skins against the harsh climate.

The red mixture is said to symbolize earth’s rich red colour and the blood that symbolizes life.

The Himba worship their ancestors and the god Mukuru. Often, because Mukuru is busy in a distant realm, the ancestors act as Mukuru’s representatives

Their homes surround an okuruwo (ancestral fire) and their livestock, both closely tied to their belief in ancestor worship.

The fire represents ancestral protection and the livestock allows for proper relations between human and ancestor.

Each family has its own ancestral fire, which is kept by the fire-keeper, who attends to the ancestral fire every seven to eight days in order to communicate with Mukuru and the ancestors on behalf of the family.

The Himba adorn themselves with traditional jewellery according to ancient customs.

Both men and women wear large numbers of necklaces, arm bracelets, sometimes almost like sleeves, made from ostrich eggshell beads, grass.

Adult women wear beaded anklets to protect their legs from venomous animal bites.

The Himba culture in Namibia has so much to know and learn from their interesting lifestyle.

Image Credit: Google

By NWANKWO, Grace Chinasa

About Author


Red ExplorerNG is an online platform showcasing the richness of African culture. It provides online information that is not only limited to the following categories: Culture, Lifestyle, Entertainment, Business, Sports, Books, News, and Opinions.

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