December 13, 2011

Himba Woman, Namibia

Photograph by Dominique Brand

This Month in Photo of the Day: 2011 National Geographic Photo Contest Images

The Himba women of northern Namibia perform daily rituals in which they anoint themselves with a mixture of ochre, oil, and ash to protect themselves from the harsh desert climate. They never take a shower, but rather burn aromatic herbs in a pot each morning with which they smoke themselves as if applying perfume.

(This photo and caption were submitted to the 2011 National Geographic Photo Contest.)


See all contest entries »
Get tips for photographing people in their element »
See more pictures of Namibia »

3 comments
Kobus Visser
Kobus Visser

The smoke is to get rid of the flees - the men have small pieces of wire to scratch the flees bothering them in their hair.

Sean Lin
Sean Lin

nice, the smoke would be more visible to grab attention, do you think so? exposure setting?

Mohamud Dirir
Mohamud Dirir

bal ila eeg  nin walba qumanihiisaa qoorta ugu jira

Special Offers

  • multiproduct_email_100x75_jancover.jpg

    National Geographic

    Subscribe to National Geographic magazine and save. Print and digital editions available for as little as $12.

Shop National Geographic