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Thursday, 15 January 2015

#Brides From #Africa #HimbaBride #Namibia

On Brides From Africa today, I'm showing off a tribe of special people with ancient traditional clothing. 

The Himba people are a tribe of pastoralists who live in north western Namibia, in the Kuene region formerly known as Kaokoland. The region is a vast stretch of land bordered by Angola to the north and Atlantic Ocean to the west.

This Himba's girl's braids are tied back, indicating that she's ready to be married.
Himba woman with an eye-catching elaborate hairstyle
In Himba culture, the bride's hair is decorated in elaborate traditional fashion. And in the photo below, a Himba bride shows off her long dreadlocks, created using a mixture of ground ochre, butter and goat hair. Indian hair extensions or straws are also used.

At the engagement ceremony, the groom's family present live animals  to be killed and offered to the bride's family along with bags of sugar and as a symbol that there will always be an abundance of food.

A Himba woman wearing her bridal finery
On her wedding day, the bride is 'covered up'. Her eyes remain lowered. There's no staring others directly in the eye,  no speaking loudly etc. The bride stays in a little room with her “omutike” or her escort, a girl who will escort her to her new family.

Part of the wedding rituals includes; the payment of 40 cattles (bride price) to the bride’s family. Cowrie shells are presented, representing fertility and prosperity.

A Himba woman wearing her bridal finery
The couple jump over the Broom – a handmade beautifully decorated broom that signifies the start of a couple making a home together.

At the ceremony, a chunky, sour and pretty foul brewed beer is specially made and served.

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