African Tribes: The Himba Economy

Figure 1.--Here we see a young Himba from Namibia mother with her (first) five children, probably in the 1970s. Noice their homes and arid suroundings.

The Himba herd sheep, goats, and some cattle. The smaller animals dominate because the marginal arid scrubland does not support cattle very well. They move location several times each year as the livestock quickly deplete the poor grazing land. Their houses are cone-shaped dwelings built from the brush available and covered with mud and livestock dung. The Himba have clung to their traditions into the modern era. They have attracted tourust interest. The Himba women are noted for their intricate hairstyles and traditional jewelery. The jewellery is made from iron or shell. The intricate designs are popular with western tourists. Traditional Himba homesteads are cone shaped structures made from palm leaves, mud and cattle dung. Drought and war struck Namibia (1980s). For a time the economy and very existence of the Himba people was threatened. Thy reportedly lost 90 percent of their livestock. But the Himba survived.


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Created: 9:32 AM 9/13/2017
Last updated: 9:32 AM 9/13/2017