Tribal Beauties With Long Hair

While surfing the net for images of my fellow tribes people I came across the pictures of these tribal women from the Namib Desert, considered to be the oldest desert in the world. The desert stretches from the South Western Angola through the country Namibia and all the way down to South Africa.

I’ve always been fascinated by the Namib Desert but what caught my eyes when I was looking for pictures of tribal people of Angola was the hair on these women.

Despite being beautiful these ladies also have the longest locks I’ve seen on any nomadic tribes in southern Africa, which is known for it’s beautiful animals and landscape. But no one mentioned these beautiful women, the ones my mother used to speak of.

They are from the Himba tribe who live in the south western part of Angola and the northen part of Namibia. Both men and women smear their skin with a mixture of rancid butter, ash and ochre (Otjize) to protect them from the harsh desert sun. The Otjize is often mixed with the aromatic resin of the Omuzumba shrub.  The Himba use the Otjize in their hair  which is long and plaited into intricate designs. Note, it’s plaited not dreadlocked!

Hair styles are determined by the marital status of the Himba. The men also change their hairstyle to denote their social position. A married man for example wears his hair in a turban.

Other tribes with similar style and long hair were the Mumuila women, in the province of Huila in south western Angola. These tribes long hair styles disproves the hair myth that you need to have mixed blood of other races in order to grow your hair long. Ladies take note, all it takes is good hair care.  If these women can have long hair in the scotching desert with the absence of conditioning treatments and shampoos what excuse do we have?

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4 Comments »

  1. Marchella Beretta said

    How may I obtain rights to use your pictures?

    • Hi Marchella. Sorry for the late response. The photos are not mine to give rights to although in the near future I will be travelling to the region (I’m from the south of Africa, born not too far from the border between Angola and Namibia where members of this tribe live) and will have rights to my own stock of photos. Also, look up himba girl, a film maker associate of mine is currently working on a film about the tribe.

  2. Hi there I’m a photographer based in Nairobi, Kenya specializing in African portraits and landscapes and would be interested in photographing the Mumuhuila tribe and other tribes in southwestern Angola. Is it true that the Mumuhuila preserved their traditions and some of them are nomads? Any advice, local contacts in the area? Thanks and regards Mariantonietta

    • Yes… A lot of them are still nomads and are fighting to hold onto their/our culture. I have obviously just read your email. Are you in Angola at the moment. I am from there. hoping to go tribal later this year if I can make it or early next….

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