The Himba Culture
The Himba people are a nomadic tribe with a population of 50,000. They reside in the northern part of Namibia. Occupying, the Kunene Region and Angola, the people are predominantly livestock farmers who use cattle as currency and measurement of wealth. Because of the hot semi-arid climate of their land, both women and men in this tribe are accustomed to wearing traditional attires, which are usually little or no clothes at all. You can see that in the photo below.
The Himba people are famous for using something called Otjize. It is a paste which they use for their skin and hair. The paste is usually made from a mixture of butterfat and ochre pigment which they use to cover their skin to give it some sort of reddish muddy appearance. They believe that the mixture cleanses their skin especially during water scarcity as well as protects the skin against insect bites and the sun.
Labor-intensive work amongst the Himba people is mostly handled by their females as they are usually responsible for woodwork, fetching water from the rivers to the village, as well as preparing meals for the family. On the other hand, their men are responsible for tending to livestock, animal slaughtering, and holding council meetings with the chiefs of the village.
Attitude Towards Marriage and Sex
The Himba people are known to be a polygamous tribe with their men entitled to as many wives as possible. Though the law in Namibia is against child brides, the people of this tribe still uphold this “tradition”, as girls as young as 10 are usually married off to older men.
It is usually the responsibility of the father to find a suitable husband for his daughter. And since the tribe’s a patriarchal tribe, women aren’t allowed many rights. As I earlier mentioned, once a girl reaches puberty, she is married off by her father. As a wife, she has no rights to object to her husband’s wishes. She is to obey him even against her own will.
The Okujepisa Omuka Zendu Tradition
In many places around the world. Entertaining guests is usually similar, as you’d offer your guests, a glass of water, wine, or a delicious cooked meal. However, these people take hospitality to a whole other level!
The Himba tribe, along with other tribes like the Benue people of the North Central parts of Nigeria, are known to practice the Okujepisa Omuka tradition. A tradition that involves a man giving his wife to his visitor for sexual entertainment and pleasure. This is believed to show the guest that his visit is well received. In most cases, the visitor spends the night with the wives while the husband sleeps in another room.