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The Lifestyle of The Himba People - "Free Sex" to Visitors and Bath With No Water

A tribe is a social division in a traditional civilization made up of families or groups related by social, economic, religious, or blood connections and sharing a shared culture and dialect, with a recognized leader. The Himba tribe is an indigenous group with a population of around 50,000 individuals. They dwell in northern Namibia and southern Angola on the other side of the Kunene River. The Himba are semi-nomadic, with basic homesteads where crops are grown.

The Himba people of Namibia are a distinct group of people whose culture has a twist that most people find offensive. The Himba, also known as the Ovahimba, is a Namibian ethnic group that dwells in the Kunene area. The Himba people are mostly livestock breeders and farmers, with their women busy with gathering firewood, preparing and serving meals, and locating freshwater. Some of the people are socially conscious and devout, inverting and honoring their ancient gods.

However, not having a bath is unusual; the reason they do not bathe with water is due to the tough climatic conditions in their location. The Himba people live in one of the harshest areas; the harsh desert temperature and a shortage of potable water are the reasons why this tribe struggles to take a bath with water. Their absence of a bathing routine does not imply that they are less attractive. When they are dressed in their traditional clothes, they appear fantastic, while others, such as ladies, have their bodies exposed. Because bathing is difficult for them, they apply red ochre to their skins and then take a daily smoke bath to preserve their cleanliness. They are led by the notion that the color red represents "Earth and blood." Their crimson complexion is one of the characteristics that distinguish them. Shouldering charcoal is put into a bowl filled with herbs, and the smoke is allowed to ascend. The people bow over this smoking bowl, and the heat causes the body to perspire, which aids in body cleansing.

Polygamy is tolerated, and young girls are married off at a young age. Although polygamy is not uncommon in Africa, it is frequently practiced. The Himba people provide "free sex" to their visitors and also decorate babies with bead necklaces. Reports show that "When a visitor arrives, a man expresses his approbation and delight at meeting him by giving him the Okujepisa Omukazendu treatment, and the wife is handed to his visitor to spend the night while the husband sleeps in another room. If no lodging is available, her husband will sleep outside." They reportedly feel that this lowers envy and strengthens relationships.

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Disclaimer: The pictures in this article are used for demonstration purposes and also for readers to get an in-depth understanding of the Himba people and their culture.

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Angola Free Himba Namibia Ovahimba


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