Meet the tribe that never takes a water bath, the women bath with smoke
All over Africa, some tribes like the Himba still respect and live according to the traditions of their ancestors. Other examples include the Maasai tribe in Kenya, the Pygmies in Congo or the many tribes that call the Dogon Valley in Mali their home. However, the one that intrigues me the most is the Himba tribe in north-western Namibia
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 a few groups left of the OvaTwa, who are also OvaHimba, but are hunter-gatherers. The OvaHimba are a semi-nomadic, pastoralist people, culturally distinguishable from the Herero people in northern Namibia and southern Angola, and speak OtjiHimba, a variety of Herero, which belongs to the Bantu family within Niger–Congo.[
The OvaHimba are considered the last (semi-) nomadic people of Namibia
What makes this tribe so popular has to do with their way of living, clothing, economy, and interesting customs. One of the grapevines is that they offer guests sex for free and another point is that they adorned every newborn baby with bead necklaces. But there are other interesting facts about them.
Just like the Japanese who lived in isolation for much of their history under the Tokugawa Shogunate, the Himba people practically live in seclusion and are wary of external contacts. Although they engage in cooperation with neighbouring tribes; they would resist any form of contamination to their beliefs and culture. This is quite curious in a nuclear age.
Apart from not allowed to bath, women of this tribe are even restricted to wash their hands with water. But women of this tribe use different method to keep them fresh and beautiful.
Himba women do take a daily smoke bath in order to maintain personal hygiene. They will put some smoldering charcoal into a little bowl of herbs (mostly leaves and little branches of Commiphora trees) and wait for the smoke to ascend
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