Wednesday, 21 December 2011
For snow haters
I hope this is warm enough for you.
The Himba people are a nomadic and pastoral people in the north of Namibia, who move their herds of cattle and goats from place to place in search of grazing. The women cover themselves, including their braided hair, in an ochre paste symbolising the colour of the earth, and through the colour of blood, life.
There is a really interesting video on how the Himba people describe and perceive colour. They have only five words for colours - dark colours; white with some yellow; shades of blue and green; shades of red, green and brown; or red, orange and pink.
Most Himba now live in nature conservancies which control wildlife and tourism. There are two villages that have been built and these have become tourist destination. While this brings in much needed income, it disrupts village life and children skip school to beg for sweets when they see tourists arriving. It's always the same question, a move towards modernity or preservation of traditional ways of life. Is there a happy middle way?
Be warned, it's back to snow tomorrow.