[episode 2] Kongonda, my place for the next months

Hutte du chef du village

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, sand and water. It provides an excellent insulation in winter as well as in summer.

A few dead trees in the middle of the village are used for hanging pans and cooking utensils that must be protected from goats, sheep, cows and hens which share our living area.

The hut completely on the left was used for cooking and for storing grains before little Sakona set it accidentally on fire last April. This tragedy was seen as a mere hazard of life and she was not blamed for it; and yet it had a real impact on the whole village for the following months. The little hut in the back is reserved to Ryomandenda, the chief’s second wife. On the right, the hut with a hole in the roof is used by Tjipana and her baby. She has put a small tent inside to be better sheltered. Out of the nine children of the village, five sleep outside.

Kongonda drawing

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