The Himba Nation in Namibia

It is always fascinating learning something new, something extraordinary in the life we live. Discovering new cultures and wanting to take part in activities that draw us closer to nature is forever refreshing to travellers all around the globe. It marks as a highlight to be able to reach remote destinations that are incredibly different from our everyday life.

Who are the Himba people?

The Himba people are known as the OvaHimba, Ova meaning “beggar” and Himba meaning people.

This tribe originates from the Herero tribe that existed in the 16th century. In the 19th century, Namibia suffered the bovine epidemic. Most of the livestock that the Herero people depended on perished forcing them to find other subsistence elsewhere. Consequently, the tribe relocated to the south and started exploring different regions for survival. Even after having to face a life-threatening crisis, some members decided to stay rather than wander around the country in search of a survival habitat. At that moment, the Herero tribe separated into two and that’s how the Himba identity came about.

The OvaHimba is a fascination to all that have seen the beautiful images of red clay-covered hair Himba people based in the Northern region of Namibia along the flowing Kunene River. As Africans, we are well-known for our hand-craft talent and the Himba nation is no different in that aspect. Their captivating decorative copper and iron handmade jewelry, clay-covered hairstyles, and clothes made out of animal skin are what make them stand out in this modernised world.

When Namibia gained independence in 1990, the Himba people came out of isolation and assimilated with other tribes. Thereafter these beautiful people have been seen walking in the streets of the busy town of Namibia and visiting the local supermarkets.

Why should you visit the Himba Villages?

People visiting Namibia rarely get a chance to detour to a Himba village and learn about the traditions and techniques of the last traditional tribe there in Namibia. Visitors that happen to take a detour into a Himba Village learn about the culture and beliefs of the OvaHimba, such as the theory behind the eldest woman being responsible for ensuring that the sacred fire is kept lit all the time to protect the inhabitants from evil spirits, which is why they have managed to carry out their traditions for this long without modifying them to accommodate the foreign world from that they know.

While it is common for visitors to bring gifts for the OvaHimba with them, it is important that you consider what type of gifts you get to the OvaHimba people. It is highly recommended that you do not bring along gifts that would be of no use to them, such as electric appliances, as you will often find there is no source of electricity. It is important you remember that few places in the world are completely untouched by modern culture.

The Himba Villages exist almost as a neutral zone. It allows the Himba community to carry out their traditional way of life and at the same time promote sustainable tourism which provides them with income for necessities such as medical care. In these villages, visitors are allowed to interact with locals and take pictures with them, not forgetting to take part in activities that will leave them with a distinctive experience, like how the tribe’s people use hallowed pumpkin to store milk.

Himba Villages are worth the detour, and Timuntu Travel can put together the perfect destination plan for you and offer you special moments. Experience a trip off the beaten tracks to have a meaningful trip. Book your trip.

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