Ethnic Himba young lady from Kaokoland in Namibia with her traditional hairstyle showing that she is married, pouring milk into a jerrycan. The Himba people are Africa`s most fashionable and one of the most beautiful indigenous ethnic group.
The proud Himba women take several hours for beauty care every morning. The entire body is rubbed with a cream, which consists of rancid butterfat and ochre powder. "It has to be said that Himba women do not wear lot of clothes. To somehow protect themselves from the sun they make a paste of butter fat, ochre, and herbs which they later put on their skin. That is why their skin is of reddish colour. The Himba believe that this colour is beautiful. It also has symbolic meaning as it unites the red colour of earth and blood which is the symbol of life. The hairstyle worn by Himba women is also quite unique. The hair is braided ("weaved") and covered with the special ochre mixuture called "otjize". Before reaching the puberty girls have only two hair braids. After the puberty they are allowed to make more of them. Single Himba men have only one braid backwards from the crown of the head. When they get married keep their hair tied in the shape of a turban."
There is sexual division labour where men and children take care of the animals whilst the women do most of the jobs in and around the home, including milking the goats and storing their milk in jerrycans - some are made from old bottles.
The Himba ethnic group have kept their ethnic individuality and culture in the seclusion of Kaokoland. This ancient tribe of semi-nomadic pastoralists live in the Kunene region of northern Namibia. There are between 20,000 and 50,000 Himba people.
The friendly and extraordinary Himba people are closely related to the Herero people but they have resisted change and preserved their unique cultural heritage. About 240,000 Herero people live in Namibia, Botswana and Angola. They belong to the Bantu group of African nations.