The Himba are a tribe of nomadic pastorals who inhabit the Kaokoland area of Namibia. The Himba are actually descendants of a group of Herero herders who fled into the remote north-west after been displaced by the Nama. The Himba have clung to their traditions and the beautiful Himba women are noted for their intricate hairstyles which and traditional jewelery.
As Himba men and woman wear few clothes apart from a loin cloth or goat skinned mini-skirt, they rub their bodies with red ocher and fat to protect themselves from the sun and also gives their appearance a rich red color.
Lately, I've seen a few Himba people in the towns of Namibia, selling their crafts and posing for photographs for tourists. To illustrate the difficulties they face in 'civilization', I'd like to quote from an email I received from a friend who now lives in Holland but who visits Namibia often:
"I find it so sad ...
In all the years I lived in this country, and all the holidays I spent here I never saw a Himba on the streets, now I saw a few ladies in their traditional clothes walking the streets of the capital Windhoek, and here at the coast as well.
Yesterday I was at the supermarket and two of them were asking the lady behind the counter,(in hands and feet language, as their language is totally different too), for some chicken.
She got upset with them as they did not understand that it had to be weighed, ... man what do such people even know about weight, they barter, so they sort of gave up and walked out again ...
My heart broke, my soul ripped, and my brain said, do something, so I bought them some chicken and bread, and went to look for them and gave it to them, plus a little bit of cash.
Man, the young woman was so surprised her eyes nearly fell out of her head, the only way they can earn money is by letting tourists take photos so this was something new - just getting something.
I wished I could speak their language to help them understand this crazy world we live in and what weighing means and how it works ... but I can't, and I don't even know who can help them ..."
Here's the link again to more of Dror Yalon's photos and a few National Geographic Articles.