himba woman
Endangered people. They struggle to survive today and nobody knows if they are still there in 20 years time.
They are different. They are natural, very real. So natural that I felt like an alien invading their sacred space. They seem to think so as well.
Their hairstyles, a complex web of patterns, reflect both the age and social status but also manifested their very essence.
Despite droughts, starvation, civilization, AIDS, wars, television and supermarkets, they continue living just as their ancestors lived .
They still are fascinated by candy tins in a similar way how some civilized people are fascinated by expensive cars.
They were surprised by my values, some sort of personal growth….
The first thing they asked, if I had any children. I answered, no, I didn’t. They were surprised – was there no one who found you attractive?
I said there were a few..  Then why not have children, they asked. They laughed, I was embarrassed. Their life is very simple. It runs its logical and natural course. How could I explain my ideals to them without looking completely stupid? And I could not find an answer that would fit into their value system, a rational explanation that would make sense to them. My unshakable ideals were shaken for a moment. And not that I suddenly realized the primacy of family values, just suddenly felt that they had something that I did not have. Just what?
They are different. They are whole. That is what I call happiness.
Himba people, Namibian trip 2013
@ afanatochka

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