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Portrait of a Himba Girl

Over the years I’ve spent meeting the Himba people in northern Namibia I have always enjoyed learning about the different phases that Himba women have in terms of their appearance. They generally start off with a shaved head, then, as little girls they wear their hair in two plaits that cover their faces. Finally, when they mature into women at the age of around 14 they add extensions to their hair and they cover their bodies and hair in ochre.

It wasn’t until 2017 when I visited remote Kaokoland with my group that I met a Himba girl who was in the transition to womanhood.

I found her sitting under a tree near a well and I was instantly struck by her appearance. She was in the shade of a large tree and her semi-done hair seemed to blend with the tangle of roots, leaves and rocks that surrounded her. She was a model of sensuality in the purest nature. I just thought she was incredibly beautiful.

I have wanted to share images of this girl in social media and even though I’ve heard they no longer ban photographs of nudity if they are artistic, I still risk them being taken down.

So I am posting these images here, where they are ‘safe’ on my blog.

I am planning to head back to this region in September this year and I will take prints of these images with me. Should I find this girl again, I will give her prints. It is a little difficult sometimes in remote Kaokoland. The Himbas are not strictly nomadic per se. They are semi-nomadic and will move to feed their herds of goats. I really hope I find her. She seemed a little mystified when I was taking her photo. Like she didn’t really understand how striking she is?

4 thoughts on “Portrait of a Himba Girl

  1. Tania says:

    What an amazing adventure you lead. Beautiful photos x

  2. Toni Vandyke says:

    Your images are a delight Inger
    and what a stunning subject. . . .
    Thanks for sharing all your amazing photography. . .
    It is much appreciated by me . .

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