Himba: Beautiful women in red
The Himba are an ethnic group of about twenty to fifty thousand people living in northern Namibia, in the Kunene region (formerly Kaokoland). They are a nomadic, pastoral people, closely related to the Herero, and speak the same language.
The Himba wear little clothing, but the women are famous for covering themselves with a mixture of butter fat, ochre, and herbs to protect themselves from the sun. The mixture gives their skins a reddish tinge. The mixture symbolizes earth’s rich red color and the blood that symbolizes life, and is consistent with the Himba ideal of beauty. Women braid each other’s hair and cover it in their ochre mixture (called otjize in their language).