Mark and Mika Take on the WORLD!!! travel blog

The Himba queen

Himba wet nurse with baby

Playing with the children

Future chief climbing tree

Day 9 of our overland tour. It was another long drive to reach Otijitotongwe. This was a stopover to split up the journey to Etosha National Park. We also got the chance to visit the Himba tribe along the way. The Himba were unique and amazing! They cover their skin with red ocre and their hair with animal fats. Much of their hairstyles depend on their background. For instance, a young Himba girl with 2 braids in front and 2 braids in back indicate that both parents and both grandparents were still alive. A shaved head with a line of hair down the middle indicate they were from a divorced family. The type of clothing and jewelry they wear indicate their family rank. The marriages were all arranged. The closest male relative to the queen tended to ascend to chief. The girls were usually married by 13 years of age and have two children by the age of 16. They were completely non-westernized, but sadly in about 15 years, we fear these people will not be able to sustain their existence. Their people were too scattered apart. Only isolated tribes remain. This particular tribe that we visited served as an orphanage for abandoned Himba children. They were abandoned for several reasons such as divorce, parents who were alcoholic, AIDS, etc. The children ran around us with excited faces, begging to be held. Once you picked them up, they refused to let go, clamping their legs around our waists tighter when we tried to put them down. They fought a lot as well. Some of them got possessive of the toys they received from us as gifts. Others pretended to cry to get our attention. There were also good little boys and girls in the bunch. It's amazing to see how all children act the same regardless where they come from all over the world.

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