The Himba: Namibia’s iconic red women

Every morning, Himba women wake at or before dawn, and apply #otjize, a paste of butter, fat and red ochre, which they apply to their hair and skin. It sometimes contains aromatic resin from a local shrub to provide an appealing fragrance. It is applied by Himba women every morning, but never by men.

Some have speculated the otjize is applied for sun protection or to ward off insects, but the Himba say it is for aesthetic reasons.

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