один мир на двоих (stusik_i_sharik) wrote,
один мир на двоих
stusik_i_sharik

Himba

"Ask her what her favorite thing to do is." Jaco asked, and the little fifteen year-old Himba replied that it was cooking. She looked so precious, healthy, happy, but then also so alien to me. She was naked from the waste up, except for a few strings of beads and a thick collar on her neck indicating she was still unwed. At 16 she would already be too old for maridge, so her bethrowed was already chosen for her. This aranged mariadge would in no way conflict with the relationship she already has with another man. He is her partner and the one who asissts her in her three-hour morning ritual, during which she bathes in smoke and exchenges full body masage while aplying the red paint Himbas are so famous for.

I fought the urge to touch her. She was like an intricate red clay doll whith soft curves that were as if molded to perfection. Smeared head to toe with gee mixed with ochre-based paint, harvested by post-menopausal tribal women on a long pilgrimadge to Angola. Her long dreadlocks were each tightly bound with the same substance, and included hair from other women of the tribe, as well as animal hair. I didn't notice at first, but her bottom front teath had been knocked out for "beuty, fashion, tradition, and better pronunciation of the languadge". Above her bare feet her anckles were enclosed in thick bands made of strung beeds - the anckles in the Himba culture are belived to be the most privat and intimate part of the body, and are not to be seen by anyone, not even a sexual or spiritual partner.



Himba Photogallery
Tags: people, places:africa:namibia
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