After driving past several deserted Himba villages we came across our first meeting with the Himba people. As expected, their appearance was very striking with their ochre skin color achieved by applying a mixture of ochre power and butter. Perhaps most striking is the women’s hair which has thick strands coated in mud with the ends brushed out into something akin to a pom-pom. It reminded me of characters from a Star Wars movie and I wouldn’t be surorised to find out this was indeed part of their inspiration.
Only the women and children were in the village, the men and boys have taken the cattle to feed and drink. We were fortunate to get to sit with one family inside their hut and although basic, it was comfortable with animal skins and other coverings on the floor, and various belongings hanging from the walls. Simple and effective. The light coming through the doorway was just enough to highlight the faces of the family setting them aside from the background. Just the setting I was looking for.
After leaving the hut we met a couple of girls who were absolutely beautiful and as it turned out the first of many such women. Their beauty is completely natural with no make up, especially since we met them by surprise in the middle of the day. The women wear a thick metal band around their necks along with metal bracelets on their arms and ankles. I imagine the weight of them is not insignificant. With the harsh light of the middle of the day, Piers, our guide, set up a canopy to create some shade and I managed to capture some of my favorite portraits from the trip.
Leaving the village I am very satisfied with my first experience with the Himba and look forward to spending the next few days with people from the various local villages.
I absolutely love these images! And what fascinating people to photograph.
Thank you, it was an insightful and humbling experience to spend time with these wonderful people.