The Herero are an ethnic group inhabiting parts of Southern Africa. About 240,000 members are alive today. They speak the Herero language which belongs to the Bantu languages. While the Himba today continue to live the nomadic life they have for centuries, the Herero settled down and prospered as cattle ranchers in the central grasslands of Namibia.
During the 19th century, the Herero came under the influence of German missionaries who took exception to what they considered to be the immodesty of the traditional Herero dress, or lack of dress (it was similar to the what we see with the Himba today). Herero women eventually adopted the style of dress that makes them so distinctive today. The dress itself falls to the ankles and includes long sleeves and a bodice that buttons up close to the neck. Over this, many women also wear a shawl. Under the dress the women wear six to eight petticoats to add fullness to the skirts. As a hat, Herero women wear a uniquely shaped headpiece that is said to resemble (and pay homage to) the horns of their cattle. Herero women are still seen proudly wearing this elaborate costume. Despite the sheer volume of material they wore from neck to wrist to ankle, the Herero women never looked the least bit overheated.
Of course, my dream was to make nice photos of Herero women. But it was not so easy. We saw only a few of them in the streets and they didn't want to be photographed (for free). On the bus stop I saw a nice group of women but they wanted to be paid (2 USD for a single photo). I started negotiations but my truck was leaving already and I had to go quickly.
This photo I made with my telelens from a distance and having my camera on my tummy. But I am quite happy with the result because of the backgroud.
Critiques | Translate
yquem46 (35256) 2012-10-17 0:53
Excellent street life scene
Luminous shot, well composed with the Herero woman a bit off centered, in her typical colored outfit
I like of course the wall, you could not find a better BG
Have a nice day, best regards
janneman (2324) 2012-10-17 1:14
A feast of colours.
Supperb composition, depicting daily lige in a extraordinary way.
SnapRJW (23510) 2012-10-17 1:43
Hello Malgo - A clever sneaky shot, these ladies are not at all keen on having their photographs taken, as you discovered. I agree that the painted wall makes a great backdrop. As to the lady being an Herero, I actually think she is a Damara lady. Why? two reasons, the first is the location of the shot which is right in the centre of the Damara area. Secondly, the costumes of the two people groups are similar but with distinctions. The Herero women's headdress is more flamboyant than this ... it has pronounced 'horns' which represent the importance of cattle in the society and you would seldom see them wearing an apron on the streets (if at all) I shall look for a shot to upload as a WS so you can see the subtle difference. How are you settling in back home? Missing the heat?
With warmest regards Rosemary
Suppiluliuma (3855) 2012-10-17 1:45
A wonderful color mixture Dear Malgo, and you're right the background creates a magic here. I might be tempted to crop from the bottom and the left but I can understand why you left this beautiful blue void.
Your note is impressive and I learnt a lot.
Thanks a lot.
lousat (64053) 2012-10-17 2:02
Hi Malgo,a colorful woman on a colorful wall,what a great opportunity! And you caught very well the moment,magnificent capture whit spectacular details and rich rich colors as i like,another nice shot from this different worlds! Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
williewhistler (9787) 2012-10-17 2:06
despite the distance you have still managed to capture the essence of this most enthralling scene.
Beautiful colours and fine detail of the lady and her environment,a gorgeous travel shot.
Best regards Les.
holmertz (31208) 2012-10-17 2:53
Whether this is a Herero or a Damara is beyond me. All I know is that the Herero can be glad to be as many as 240 000 today, since they were the victims of the first genocide of the last century, when the Germans sort of rehearsed for Holocaust.
As to ths picture it is bright and beautiful and you were incredibly lucky to find such a marvellous background. It's just incredible.
lpi (4756) 2012-10-17 2:55
superbe scène de rue riche en couleurs.
Très bon shot...Bravo!
corjan3 (1935) 2012-10-17 3:40
One often sees photo's of Herero women because of their coulrfull dresses buty this is omne of th ebest I have seen. It is a beautiful picture well seen and well captured. Best wishes.
PS: I am looking forward to your images from South Africa.
snunney (72566) 2012-10-17 4:05
A very successful opportunistic shot of this traditionally dressed lady. I like her pose; the colourful wall makes an excellent and somehow appropriate backdrop.
krzychu30 (12605) 2012-10-17 4:43
piękny i bardzo wyrazisty obraz.Kolory sprawiają,ze odbieramy całą scenę jeszcze bardziej intensywnie.Swietnie skadrowana scena i ciekawa notka.
Sergiom (45244) 2012-10-17 5:16
J'aime beaucoup cette composition. La position de la dame dans la photo est parfaite et les couleurs du mur font ressortir ses vêtements originaux.
jjcordier (67146) 2012-10-17 7:32
Très belle photo aux couleurs vives qui attirent le regard comme le costume de cette femme. L'arrière plan est splendide mais j'aurais peut-être coupé le bas de l'image pour supprimer la bordure de trottoir?
Glint (5907) 2012-10-17 12:10
you did a brilliant job capturing this, especially under the circumatances. Brilliant colours, graphically very pleasing.
saxo042 (33856) 2012-10-17 15:36
A good idea to comine this colourfully dressed woman with this brightly painted background. Both the woman and the paint are perfectly positioned too. Was this per chance or did you persuade the woman to stand right there? Whatever, you managed to take a very fine picture. You also wrote a very interestin note!
ACL1978 (6497) 2012-10-17 15:43
Just an outstanding shot, Malgorzata - where does the woman end and the mural begin? The paint seems to flow down the wall and into her outfit! Her pose itself is also wonderful, full of life and attitude. Between the bright colors and the perfect framing, this is really a stunning and fascinating shot. That you got it 'from the hip' makes it all the more special. Thanks for sharing it!
wolf38 (29116) 2012-10-17 22:03
Hello Malgorzata. Africa is a land of beautiful colors. You see it in the art, the clothes, etc. Your photo is a wonderful example. The clothes of the woman is typically African. The colorful wall behind her fits perfectly. A really great shot.
dkmurphys (42409) 2012-10-18 3:32
Lovely colors of this attractive scene. I like a lot your scene, simple and beautiful.
Enjoy a fine day.
SWEETFREEDOM (19900) 2012-10-18 10:41
yes the background is very nice and with attractive colors. good full body portrait.
yaya13baut (3344) 2012-10-18 11:20
a great street pic and daily life scene.
the colourful wall behind the woman make this picture powerful, we can't miss it. the clothes and the yellow bag contrast well in front of this blue wall.
by the way, it's not easy to snap people in the street : you have to ask (and then to receive a refusal or you have to pay... or the person can accept, sometimes) or to go quiclky, or to be unassuming (far away with a telephoto lens or pretending ot taking the photo).
but people in the street are a nice subject and attract the camera.
notrap (4986) 2012-10-20 1:37
ein super Ergebis, wenn man bedenkt, daß Du die Kamera vor den Bauch gehalten hast! Einfach schön vor diesem Hintergrund.
Grüße von Elvira
TopGeo (38080) 2012-10-20 9:26
Hello Malgo! Excellent daily life scene and beautiful art photo at the same time! Great composition and framing, perfect light management, wonderful colours! perfect crop
annjackman (15481) 2012-10-20 23:50
Well done for getting this under difficult conditions. A wonderful composition with the woman against the blue wall with the streaks of colored paint.
Kind Regards, Ann
mkamionka (27045) 2012-10-21 1:23
tlo jest rzeczywiscie super ciekawe, calosc wyglada raczej jak jakas scenka ze studia filmowego w Hollywood. Te kolory sa tak surrealistyczne podobnie zreszta to kolorowe ubranie kobiety. Znakomicie wypatrzone, swietna jakosc, gratulacje!!!
macjake (45556) 2012-10-22 16:59
I'm very jealous of this one!
I wish I had taken this one myself!
Funny story about how you captured it too.
now THIS is culture, fine shot.
its the type of photo that i just want to sit back and enjoy.
lovely shot, its a Keeper.
InasiaJones (30006) 2012-10-23 19:13
It seems that you have found a perfect background to present photogenic Herero woman. There is a nice harmony of vivid colours, and the sense of street photography is perfectly perceptible with the apparent sidewalk.
I like to see portraits of subject in their environment.
Iwon (6231) 2012-10-28 11:25
Pięknie się prezentuje ta kobieta... super wypatrzone!
adores (30775) 2012-11-02 16:38
I see you never stop! Another fantastic trip, I suppose!
I like this portrait! The costumes, the colours and specially that colourful wall that is a perfect background. Well done!
I'll take a look at the others:)!
- Copyright: Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) (64110)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2012-10-02
- Categories: Daily Life
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1/160 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2012-10-17 0:48
- Favorites: 1 [view]