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A Himba woman makes porridge over a fire in her village in Koakoland, Namibia.

 

Himba women and girls tend to perform more labor-intensive work than men and boys do, such as carrying water to the village, collecting firewood, milking the cows and goats, attending to the calabash vines used for producing and ensuring a secure supply of soured milk, cooking and serving meals, as well as making handicrafts, clothingand jewelry. The Himba’s live on what nature provides for them, their diet consisting mostly of porridge, meat being reserved only for special celebrations.

 

Every morning and evening they heat some water, wait until it boils, and put some flour in it, maybe add some oil and food is served. The flour is mostly from maize but from time to time you might find some mahangu flour as well. Mahangu is another name for pearl millet; it is a very popular crop in Namibia since it performs well in soils with low fertility.

 

The Himba are indigenous peoples. One of Southern Africa's last traditionally living pastoral tribes living in northern Namibia. They are a people that live very distant from the "modern-western" world. Although they have contact with the western society, they have managed to maintain their traditional lifestyle.

Porridge, “The Red People”, Kaokoland, Namibia. August, 2015.

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