Beautiful Himba girl from Opuwo in Kaokoland, Namibia with her two plaited hairstyle symbolizing her virginity
By tradition, a young Himba girl typically has two plaits of braided hair called ozondato, the form being determined by her oruzo (the paternal clan) she belongs.Young children tend to have shaved heads, although some have special haircuts that indicate they belong to a clan where taking care of goats with small ears is taboo - a tradition that extends to eating their meat.
The Himba (singular: OmuHimba, plural: OvaHimba) are indigenous peoples with an estimated population of about 50,000 people living in northern Namibia, in the Kunene region (formerly Kaokoland) and on the other side of the Kunene River in Angola. There are also few groups left of the Ovatwa, which also belong to the Himba people, but are hunters and gatherers. The OvaHimba are a semi-nomadic, pastoral people, culturally distinguishable from the Herero people in northern Namibia and southern Angola, and speak OtjiHimba (a Herero language dialect), which belongs to the language family of the Bantu.The OvaHimba are considered the last (semi-) nomadic people of Namibia.
A Himba girl with a single locked plait pointing forward, which means she is one of a set of twins.
For years,this ancient ethnic group of semi-nomadic herders known as the Himba has drawn photographers to Namibia's barren northwest.
Germany will finally apologize for its other genocide. In a landmark admission of historical guilt, chancellor Angela Merkel said her country will formally recognize and apologize for the systematic murder of Namibia’s Herero people more than a century ago.
The genocide is widely viewed as the first of the twentieth century, perpetrated from 1904 to 1907, but is rarely recognized. Historians believe that the atrocities perpetrated by the German troops became a precursor for those perpetrated during the Holocaust. The parallels between Germany’s two genocides are chillingly similar: the extermination order for the sake of expansion, forced labor in concentration camps and scientific experiments on prisoners.
Within three years, German troops oversaw the extermination of 85% of the Herero population, expropriated their land and seized their source of wealth, their cattle. Today, the once powerful Herero make up about 10% of Namibia’s population and live in some of the country’s most underdeveloped regions, struggling with high youth unemployment.