The best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end. Still feeling Namibia and its gems and loving it that this journey as many others is inside of me forever. So sharing here another intense experience, which touched me deep inside.
Driving over the worst gravel roads for a few endless hours I reached the small village, the “onganda ” , a circular hamlet consisting of five tiny clay and wood made huts and one clay oven that surround an ” okuruwo ” the sacred ancestral fire.
The home of the Himba Tribe.
The Himba tribe, indigenous poeples with an estimated population of about 50.000 people are living in northern Namibia, in the Kunene Region, which I had the chance to discover. It is the remotest place I have ever been with endless stretches of land leading to nowhere. Because of the harsh desert climate in the region where they live and their seclusion from outside influences, the OvaHimba have managed to maintain and preserve much of their traditional lifestyle. They are accustomed to wearing traditional calf skin that benefits their living environment being a hot semi-arid climate. The women are famous for covering themselves with Otijze paste, a mix of butterfat and ochre pigments to cleanse the skin over long periods due to water scarcity and protec themselves from the extremely hot and dry climate and insect bites. It symbolizes earth’s rich red color and blood, the essence of life consistent with the OvaHimba ideal of beauty. Their wealth is cattle, which is currently starving due to climate change and lack of water.
The little boy and me became friends and he loved to model together with his toy.
The only one he had.