Herding livestock in the harsh desert climate of northern Namibia, the Himba are an indigenous people who have managed to preserve their traditional way of life over many generations of drought and war.

Traditions extend to every aspect of life for the Himba, from family structure, to dress and hairstyle. The wealth of a Himba family is measured by how much cattle it has, and families live a semi-nomadic life, following grazing and water sources for their livestock.

The Himba practice bilateral descent, where wealth is inherited from the mother’s line and status from the father’s. Each extended family forms a village, headed by an elder who tends the central sacred fire, where prayers are offered to the family’s ancestors.