Red Women

I was scrolling down my Insta timeline the other morning and I saw this…

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I was instantly intrigued, so I started doing some research. This striking image is that of a Himba woman.  The Himba are an ancient tribe of semi-nomadic herders.  They come from the Kunene region of Namibia.  The cause of their red skin is otjize, a paste of butter, fat and red ochre, sometimes scented with aromatic resin.   The Himba women apply this each morning, the same as many American women apply makeup, to their skin and hair, giving them a red color.  There has been many assumptions on why these women apply this, from a repellent to insects to protection from the sun.  However, the Himba say it’s just for aesthetic reasons.  The men of this tribe do not apply otjize. Most of Himba people still live traditional lifestyles, traditions living through war, droughts, and most importantly time.  That always amazed me how traditions out live time and technological advances.  The most important part of the Himba village is the “okuruwo,” or holy fire, which is kept continuously lit.  The holy fire represents the ancestors of the villagers, who acts as intermediaries to the Himba’s god, Mukuru.  The Himba are open to strangers so, I mean if you ever happen to be in Namibia, check them out.  All they ask for is a contribution from visitors in return.  Below are some more pictures of these beautiful Himba women.

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Amazing right?

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