WARNING: The Himba live topless, and as a result, some of these images might be considered not safe for work (NSFW). Please return to the homepage if you or your workplace finds cultural nudity inappropriate.

Himba Tribe

The Himba people are an indigenous ethnic group that lives in northern Namibia and southern Angola in Africa. They are semi-nomadic pastoralists who herd cattle and goats and rely on these animals for their livelihoods. The Himba are known for their distinctive traditional dress, which includes intricate jewelry, red ochre body paint, and leather clothing. Despite increasing Westernization and modernization, they have a strong cultural identity and maintain many of their traditional beliefs, practices, and customs. In addition, the Himba are known for their hospitality and warm, welcoming nature towards outsiders, and their culture has fascinated many visitors to the region.

In January 2023, I visited a Himba orphan village just south of Etosha National Park in Namibia, and it was an unforgettable experience. I witnessed the Himba people demonstrate some of their traditional practices and customs, including the women adorning themselves with intricate jewelry and smearing their bodies with a mixture of ochre and butterfat. I also watched the Himba perform a traditional dance.

The Himba's spiritual beliefs are central to their culture and inform every aspect of their daily lives. One of the most important spiritual rituals in Himba culture is the worship of ancestral spirits. This is done through offerings of food, incense, and animal sacrifices and is performed by a spiritual leader known as the OvaHimba. The Himba also practice rainmaking rituals, which involve the OvaHimba communicating with the ancestral spirits to bring rain to the land and ensure the health of their livestock.