The Himba people, also known as the Ovahimba or Omhimba, reside in the Kunene region of Namibia and have a unique culture that may surprise many outsiders. One of their customs is offering free sex to their guests, while another is adorning newborns with bead necklaces.
The tribe lives in isolation and is cautious about external contacts, as they strive to preserve their beliefs and culture. They primarily work as livestock breeders and farmers, with women responsible for gathering firewood, cooking and serving meals, and sourcing freshwater. Some villagers are socially inclined and deeply religious, revering and worshiping their ancient gods. Polygamy is welcome, and young girls are often married off at a young age, though this is not uncommon in many parts of Africa.
However, what may be considered strange to some is that the Himba people do not bathe in water. This is due to the extreme desert climate and lack of potable water in their region, making bathing difficult. Instead, they use red ochre on their skin and a daily smoke bath to maintain hygiene.
A smoking bowl filled with herbs and charcoal is used, and the heat causes the body to perspire and wash. Despite their lack of a water-based bathing routine, the Himba people maintain their traditional attire and look great, with some women even having their bodies exposed.
While friendly to strangers and visitors, the Himba people are protective of their culture and do not allow interference.