My state of mind when arriving in this African country was as innocent as possible. I had decided not to read anything; geography, literature, history or anything. I had come thinking I was “the other”. So I have never judged according to my cultural references. Of course I keep my own values but I observe […]
Obviously, you can’t come into a Himba village by chance and without a preparation. I am naturally slow in making contact and I realize they would have liked me to get integrated more quickly. But I did not want to disturb and I also wanted to find my place in the village so as to […]
Sakona is Mokatjoia’s eldest child. She is as whimsical as one can be and weeps for nothing, but her smile is disarming. I can’t help thinking of my three nieces when I make her jump on my lap singing Ah Ah Ah as she bumps in rhythm.
Mandu is Ryomandenda’s son. Apparently he was victim of polio and his right leg is lifeless. He ties it around a stick. Surprisingly, he is the fastest runner and he never balks at any task.
The Himba of my village are not affected too much by westernization and the passage of tourists. They are far from Opuwo and are lucky enough to be protected from the sudden and degrading visits imposed by westerners who are looking for exoticism and who can sometimes be rude.
Like all Himba villages, Kongonda is round-patterned, limited by fences made of intertwined branches. Inside, the central “kraal” allows to keep animals for milking, vaccination or simply to protect them from predators. On the right of the entrance the chief’s hut sits imposingly. It is a wooden construction covered with cob, a mixture of dung, […]