Trip Start May 20, 2010
195Trip End Sep 05, 2011
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Day : 446
Temperature : 30 degrees
Weather : Sunny, clear skies
The long drive up to Opuwo is certainly worth it. We'd come here to see the Himba people…nomadic tribes who are famous for covering their bodies with a mixture of ochre, butter and herbs, turning their skin a deep orange colour, serving as a sunblock and insect repellent.
We stayed in a little community run campsite which was blissfully quiet, and after an early night we collected a guide the following morning and headed to the supermarket to buy some "gifts" for the Himba people……maize, oil, flour and a few other things
The women are a spectacular sight, not only using the ochre mixture on their bodies but also covering their braided hair, giving a dreadlock appearance. This is topped off with a hat made from animal skin. In addition, they prefer to wear traditional clothing, being bare breasted and draped with ornate necklaces and jewellery.
After looking around the farm one of the girls demonstrated the mixing of the ochre and butter and the application of the cream to the body, as well as the smoking of aromatic herbs in a little pot which they move over their bodies as if applying perfume.
Before leaving the village we were invited to buy some local jewellery made from cattle horn. Despite bartering the women down from $50 to $20, we later realised that we were still paid too much when later in Opuwo town they were selling the same jewellery for $5! Blimey! These girls were good!