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Photographer's Note

The Himba people of Namibia's north-western Kunene region are truly fascinating. Most of them still live a traditional nomadic lifestyle closely linked to their strong culture.

This lady was a senior in a family that at that time was resident in a village a few kilometres from Epupa Falls on the Kunene River.

With this image I attempted to portray her mood and record the ochre colours of her skin and apparel. She was concerned about something and expressing her discontent to other village members. I further tried to partially frame her with the blurred background forms in an attempt to dramatise the colours.

This image was taken fairly early in the morning. Shooting with a 300mm lens I set myself a fair distance back so as not to intrude. From the "outside" I was able to observe and record the activities of a typical village morning without having any influence on it.

I am concerned for the longterm welfare of the Himba people for a number of reasons and urge anyone visiting their areas to respect them and preferably only go accompanied by a capable and sensitive guide.

One interesting thing I learned during this visit was that the Himba do not keep chickens to eat either the flesh or the eggs. Our guide explained that in discussion he had learned that they considered the chickens as their "flowers" that beautify their village. Made a lot of sense considering their nomadic lifestyle and the otherwise dull aridity of their environment.

CliffW, ggsemeni, verge, summersun, Paker, Curioso, gelor, maloutim has marked this note useful

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