Nomads - The Herero and the Himba

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In 1904 the Herero staged an uprising against the German colonizers of Namibia, culminating in their own bloody massacre at Waterberg. The few surviving Herero escaped to the Kalahari Desert.

An offshoot of the Herero, the nomadic Himba live in the arid Kaokaland of Namibia. An extended family, headed by the patriarch, creates a village with mud huts, a corral for cattle, and a sacred fire. They move when new grazing land is needed for the cattle. Pastoralists, they measure their wealth in cattle.

Today, Herero women still wear the colorful Victorian dresses and headdresses of a hundred twenty years ago. Himba women are known for their headdresses and the ochre mud molded on their elaborate braids.

Modern life is having an impact on this ancient people. Pop-up government schools and health clinics appear near some villages, and some Himba women travel to Windhoek to sell their leather crafts and beaded jewelry at the market.

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