Himba Knife – Kunene Region (Kaokoland), Namibiaamazigh
Leather, iron, wood. The piece is cm 44,5 in lenght (17,51″). The blade is cm. 27,5 high (10.82″).
The Himba (or OvaHimba) are indigenous peoples living in northern Namibia, in the Kunene Region (formerly Kaokoland) and on the other side of the Kunene River in Angola. The Himba are considered the last (semi-) nomadic, pastoralist people of Namibia.
Himba women are famous for covering themselves with otjize paste, a cosmetic mixture of butterfat and ochre pigment, to cleanse the skin over long periods due to water scarcity and protect themselves from the extremely hot and dry climate of the Kaokoland as well as against mosquito insect bites. Otjize, often perfumed with the aromatic resin, is considered foremost a highly desirable aesthetic beauty cosmetic, symbolizing earth’s rich red color and blood the essence of life, and is consistent with the OvaHimba ideal of beauty.
Hairstyle and jewelry play a significant role among the OvaHimba, it indicates age and social status within their community.