Tag Archives: race

CHUKCHI

 

The ancient Arctic live on the peninsula of the Chukotka. Unlike other native groups of Siberia, they have never been conquered by Russian troops. Their environment and traditional culture endured destruction under Soviet rule, by weapon testing and pollution.
“The way you treat your dog in this life determines your place in heaven”
Due to the harsh climate and difficulty of life in the tundra, hospitality and generosity are highly prized among the Chukchi. They believe that all natural phenomena are considered to have their own spirits. Traditional lifestyle still survives but is increasingly supplemented.

‘When I saw the vastness of the white landscape, my mind was overwhelmed with clarity’

ARCTIC TUNDRA, VANKAREM, CHUKOTKA

February 2012

Ancient legends and archaeological evidence suggest that Chukchi takeover of Chukotka was anything but peaceful.

Unlike other native groups of Siberia, they were fiercely militant and have never been conquered by Russian troops. Under Soviet rule, the Chukchi people endured mass imprisonment and destruction of their traditional culture.

PEOPLE FROM THE SECOND BRIGADE

February 2012

The Chukchi are an ancient Arctic people who chiefly live on the peninsula of Chukotka. They are unusual among the Northern people in having two distinct cultures: The nomadic reindeer herders (Chauchu) who live in the interior of the peninsula,and the village-based marine  mammal hunters (Ankalyn) who live along the coasts of the Arctic Ocean, the Chukchi Sea and the Bering Sea.

VLADILEN KAVRI

February 2012

The staple foods eaten by the inland Chukchi are products of reindeer farming: boiled venison, reindeer brains and bone marrow, and reindeerblood soup.

One traditional dish, rilkeil, is made from semi-digested moss from a  slaughtered reindeer’s stomach mixed with blood, fat, and pieces of boiled
reindeer intestine. Coastal Chukchi cuisine is based on boiled walrus, seal,  whale meat/fat and seaweed. Both groups eat frozen fish and edible leaves and roots.
Traditional Chukchi cuisine is now supplemented with canned vegetables and other foodstuffs purchased in stores.

FOLK ART

February 2012

Sculpture and carving on bone and walrus tusk are the most highly developed forms of folk art among the Chukchi. Common traditional themes are landscapes and scenes from everyday life: hunting parties, reindeer herding and animals native to Chukotka. In traditional Chukchi society, only men engage in these arts. Chukchi women are skilled at sewing and embroidering.

‘It is considered unseemly for a man to perform work usually done by women’

– Jimmy Nelson

REINDEER SECOND BRIGADE

February 2012

Although both sexes share responsibility for running the household, they have different tasks. Chukchi men drive their reindeer in search of  vegetation and travel to the edge of the taiga to hunt sea mammals and gather firewood and fish. The women’s work includes cleaning and repairing the yaranga, cooking food, sewing and repairing clothing and preparing reindeer or walrus hides.

CHUKOTKA

February 2012

The coastal Chukchi, like the neighbouring Eskimo, enjoy tossing each other high into the air on walrusskin blankets. Chukchi of all ages traditionally enjoy singing, dancing, listening to folk tales and reciting tongue twisters.

CHUKCHI TRADITIONS

February 2012

The traditional dress for Chukchi women is a kerker, a knee-length coverall made from reindeer or seal hide and trimmed with fox, wolverine, wolf
or dog fur. On holidays and special occasions, women can be seen wearing robe-like dresses of fawn skins beautifully decorated with beads, embroidery and fur trimmings.

At important traditional events, we see men wearing loose shirts and trousers made of the same material.

VYACHESLAV & OLESYA

February 2012

Pollution, weapons testing, strip mining and overuse of industrial equipment and vehicles have greatly damaged Chukotka’s environment and endangered its ability to support traditional Chukchi activities.

YARANGA SECOND BRIGADE

February 2012

For at least a few hundred years, the coneshaped yaranga has been the traditional home of Chukchi reindeer herders. It takes about 80 reindeer skins to build a yaranga. Nowadays, fewer and fewer Chukchi live in yarangas. The coastal Chukchi traditionally used dogsleds and skin
boats for transportation, while inland Chukchi rode in sledges pulled by reindeer. These traditional methods of transportation still survive, but are increasingly supplemented by air travel, motorboats, and snowmobiles.

SECOND BRIGADE, CHUKOTKA

February 2012

The Chukchi, who call themselves the Lygoravetlat – meaning ‘genuine people’ – presently number slightly over 15,000. Their territory is mostly treeless tundra. The climate is harsh, with winter temperatures sometimes dropping as low as minus 54°C.  The cool summers average around 10°C.

CHUKCHI

February 2012

Traditional Chukchi sports are reindeer and dog-sled races, wrestling, and foot races. Competitions of these types are often performed following the reindeer sacrifices of the inland Chukchi and the sea-spirit sacrifices of the coastal Chukchi.

MYSTERY

February 2012

Chukchi beliefs and practices are best described as a form of shamanism. Animals, plants, heavenly bodies, rivers, forests and other natural phenomena are all considered to have their own spirits. During their rituals, Chukchi shamans fall into trances (sometimes with the aid of
hallucinogenic mushrooms), communicate with the spirits, allow the spirits to speak through them, predict the future, and cast spells of various kinds.

The most important traditional Chukchi holidays were festivals in which sacrifices were made to the spirits that the Chukchi depended upon for their survival.

CHUKCHI TRADITIONS

February 2012

Due to the harsh climate and difficulty of life in the tundra, hospitality and generosity are highly prized among the Chukchi. It is forbidden to refuse anyone, even a stranger, shelter and food.

The community is expected to provide for orphans, widows and the poor. Miserliness is considered the worst character defect a person can have.

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The Maori People

The Maori People

The long and intriguing story of the origin of the indigenous Maori can be traced back to the 13th century, the mythical homeland Hawaiki, Eastern Polynesia. Due to centuries of isolation, the Maori established a distinct society with characteristic art, a separate language and unique mythology.

 

The long and intriguing story of the origin of the indigenous Maori people can be traced back to the 13th century, the mythical homeland Hawaiki, Eastern Polynesia. Due to centuries of isolation, the Maori established a distinct society with characteristic art, a separate language and unique mythology.
“My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul”
Defining aspects of Maori traditional culture include art, dance, legends, tattoos and community. While the arrival of European colonists in the 18th century had a profound impact on the Maori way of life, many aspects of traditional society have survived into the 21st century.

HARURU FALLS, NORTH ISLAND

January 2011

As a polytheist culture, the Maori worshipped many gods, goddesses and spirits. Maori believe that ancestors and supernatural beings are ever-present and able to help the  in times of need. Myths are set in the remote past. They present Maori ideas about the creation of the universe and the origins of gods and of people.

The mythology accounts for natural phenomena, the weather, the stars and the moon, the fish in the sea, the birds of the forest, and the forests themselves. The Maori understanding of the development of the universe was expressed in genealogical form.

TA MOKO

January 2011

Defining aspects of Maori traditional culture include art, legends, tattoos(Ta Moko), performances (notably Kapa Haka), customs, hospitality and community.

Tattooing has always been an important part of Maori culture. Receiving tattoos is an important step to maturity and there are many rites and rituals associated with the event. Every member of a Maori tribe had a specific role and a specific place within the social order.

ROBERT DAVIS

January 2011

These journeys established the Maori as daring and resourceful adventurers, and as one of the greatest navigating peoples of all time. Due to centuries of isolation from the rest of the world, the Maori established a distinct society with characteristic art, a separate language and unique mythology.

HUKA FALLS

January 2011

While the arrival of Europeans had a profound impact on the Maori way of life, many aspects of traditional society have survived into the 21st century. The Maori participate fully in all spheres of New Zealand culture and society, leading largely Western lifestyles while also maintaining their own cultural and social customs.

Traditional kinship ties are actively maintained, and the whanau (extended family) in particular remains an integral part of Maori life. Though many Maori migrated to larger rural towns and cities, they remained almost exclusively a rural population.

TAUPO VILLAGE

January 2011

Kai is the Maori word for food. The Maori diet was based on birds and fish, supplemented by wild herbs and roots. In their tribal gardens, Maori also grew root crops including yams, gourds and kumara (sweet potatoes).

The Maori usually cooked in underground ovens called Hangi. To this day, this traditional cooking method is still used on special occasions, creating feasts made from traditional ingredients.

DR PITA SHARPLES

January 2011

The Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand and their story is both long and intriguing. On the basis of oral records, archaeological finds and genetic analyses, we can place the arrival of Maori in New Zealand in the thirteenth century AD.

The origin of the Maori has been reliably traced to the islands of Eastern Polynesia. Their journey to New Zealand from the mythical homeland Hawaiki occurred in a number of Epic Waka (canoe) voyages over a significant period of time. Legend has it that twelve large canoes each carried a different tribe (Iwi). Even today, most Maori people can tell which original tribe they are descendants of.

PROMISE TANIWHA

January 2011

By the end of the nineteenth century, the effects of early colonisation, wars and epidemics had reduced the Maori population to a low of around 40,000. In the early 20th century, the Maori population numbers began to recover and Maori culture underwent a renaissance. There are currently around 650,000 Maori in New Zealand.

THE ORDINARY

January 2011

The early Maori were very peaceful in comparison to later generations, amongst whom a warfare culture emerged with many battles between tribes.

The early settlers did not call themselves Maori until the arrival of the European colonists in the 18th century. They then needed a name to mark their distinction from the newcomers and used Maori, meaning ‘ordinary’ (as in different from the extraordinary gods).

TAUPO VILLAGE, NORTH ISLAND

January 2011

Maori society is particularly visible at the marae. Formerly the central meeting spaces in traditional villages, marae frequently host events such as weddings, funerals and other large gatherings, with traditional protocol and etiquette usually observed. These events are great occasions to show off their colourful traditional garments, jewellery, intricate tattoos, dances and chants: in short, to reestablish Maori traditions.

HAKA WAR

January 2011

The haka war dance, meant to intimidate the enemy, is one of the best-known cultural traditions of the Maori. These dances are accompanied by song and body percussion created by clapping hands, stomping feet and slapping thighs. The dance itself involves energetic postures representing warlike and aggressive poses.

Maori chanting follows very strict rules. To break a chant in midstream is to invite disaster or even death for a community. These chants often tell of family lines or the exploits of ancestors.

 

The Kalam People

The eastern half of New Guinea gained full independence from Australia in 1975, when Papua New Guinea was born. The indigenous population is one of the most heterogeneous in the world. Traditionally, the different tribes scattered across the highland plateau, live in small agrarian clans.

The eastern half of New Guinea gained full independence from Australia in 1975, when Papua New Guinea was born. The indigenous population is one of the most heterogeneous in the world. Traditionally, the different groups scattered across the highland plateau, live in small agrarian clans.
“Knowledge is only rumour until it is in the muscle”

The first visitors were impressed to find valleys of carefully planned gardens and irrigation ditches. The women of the indigenous groups are exceptional farmers. The men hunt and fight other tribes over land, pigs and women. Great effort is made to impress the enemy with terrifying masks, wigs and paint.

“We  wouldn’t have acquired a fraction of the extraordinary images had we gone in the measured, sensible way.”

RAINBOW OVER SIMBAI

2010

Nested high in the mountains Simbai is a village that is unreachable except by prop plane. It takes days walking through the bush through steep mud slick hills. With no roads, it is easy to get lost.

This has kept the culture strong and rich and from assimilating to the rest of the world. Simbai really is like stepping into another world.

KALAM PIERCE THEIR NOSE AS INITIATION FOR YOUNG BOYS

2010

Simbai is the home of the Kalam in the heart of the highlands of Madang. It is one of Papua New Guinea’s most secluded places where  still live a subsistence lifestyle in traditional villages scattered through pristine wilderness territory and untouched by Westernisation.

BODY DECORATIONS

2010

When it comes to body decorations, their bodies are heavily donned with “Bilas” (body ornaments) such as large Kina shells, Hornbill (Kokomo)
beak necklaces, cuscus fur, wild garden flowers and arm bands.

Pig fat provides the final shine.

BIRD FEATHERS & KINA SHELLS

2010

The crowns of the head-dresses are decorated with bird feathers comprising those of the cockatoo, parrots, lorikeets and bird of paradise species.

Small round Kina shells are hooked on to and hang suspended from the hole in the nose while others insert King of Saxony bird of paradise feathers.

KALAM MEN AND BOYS

2010

The eastern half of New Guinea, the world’s second largest island, gained full independence from Australia in 1975, when the nation of Papua New Guinea was born. The indigenous population is one of the most heterogeneous in the world.

It is believed that the first Papua New Guineans migrated to the island over 45,000 years ago. Today, over three million people, approximately half of the total population, live in the highlands.

LIFE IS SIMPLE IN HIGHLAND VILLAGES

2010

The highlanders live by hunting, done primarily by men, and by gathering plants and growing crops, done primarily by women. The men help clear
the land, but the rest of the cultivation is the responsibility of the women.
The residents have plenty of good food, close-knit families and a great respect for the wonders of nature.

Kalam

The eastern half of New Guinea gained full independence from Australia in 1975, when Papua New Guinea was born. The indigenous population is one of the most heterogeneous in the world. Traditionally, the different groups scattered across the highland plateau, live in small agrarian clans.
“Knowledge is only rumour until it is in the muscle”

The first visitors were impressed to find valleys of carefully planned gardens and irrigation ditches. The women of the indigenous groups are exceptional farmers. The men hunt and fight other tribes over land, pigs and women. Great effort is made to impress the enemy with terrifying masks, wigs and paint.

“We  wouldn’t have acquired a fraction of the extraordinary images had we gone in the measured, sensible way.”

RAINBOW OVER SIMBAI

2010

Nested high in the mountains Simbai is a village that is unreachable except by prop plane. It takes days walking through the bush through steep mud slick hills. With no roads, it is easy to get lost.

This has kept the culture strong and rich and from assimilating to the rest of the world. Simbai really is like stepping into another world.

KALAM PIERCE THEIR NOSE AS INITIATION FOR YOUNG BOYS

2010

Simbai is the home of the Kalam in the heart of the highlands of Madang. It is one of Papua New Guinea’s most secluded places where  still live a subsistence lifestyle in traditional villages scattered through pristine wilderness territory and untouched by Westernisation.

BODY DECORATIONS

2010

When it comes to body decorations, their bodies are heavily donned with “Bilas” (body ornaments) such as large Kina shells, Hornbill (Kokomo)
beak necklaces, cuscus fur, wild garden flowers and arm bands.

Pig fat provides the final shine.

BIRD FEATHERS & KINA SHELLS

2010

The crowns of the head-dresses are decorated with bird feathers comprising those of the cockatoo, parrots, lorikeets and bird of paradise species.

Small round Kina shells are hooked on to and hang suspended from the hole in the nose while others insert King of Saxony bird of paradise feathers.

KALAM MEN AND BOYS

2010

The eastern half of New Guinea, the world’s second largest island, gained full independence from Australia in 1975, when the nation of Papua New Guinea was born. The indigenous population is one of the most heterogeneous in the world.

It is believed that the first Papua New Guineans migrated to the island over 45,000 years ago. Today, over three million people, approximately half of the total population, live in the highlands.

LIFE IS SIMPLE IN HIGHLAND VILLAGES

2010

The highlanders live by hunting, done primarily by men, and by gathering plants and growing crops, done primarily by women. The men help clear
the land, but the rest of the cultivation is the responsibility of the women.
The residents have plenty of good food, close-knit families and a great respect for the wonders of nature.

Goroka

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The indigenous population of the world’s second largest island is one of the most heterogeneous in the world. The harsh terrain and historic inter-tribal warfare have lead to village isolation and the proliferation of distinct languages. A number of different tribes are scattered across the highland plateau.

 

The indigenous population of the world’s second largest island is one of the most heterogeneous in the world. The harsh terrain and historic inter-tribal warfare have lead to village isolation and the proliferation of distinct languages. A number of different groups are scattered across the highland plateau.
“Knowledge is only a rumour until it is in the muscle”
Life is simple in the highland villages. The residents have plenty of good food, close-knit families and a great respect for the wonders of nature. They survive by hunting, gathering plants and growing crops. Indigenous warfare is common and men go through great effort to impress the enemy with make-up and ornaments.

GOROKA

2010

Goroka is the capital of the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. Though only discovered at the beginning of the 20th century it is now host of a major tourist attraction, the Goroka show.  The renowned Goroka Show is a three-day event that takes place annually around the time of the country’s Independence Day (September 16). Dating back to 1957, it is the oldest tribal gathering in Papua New Guinea.  Over 100 tribes from the region show their music, dance and culture.

“I have spent many years in conflict areas, but in Papua New Guinea I was particularly nervous.”

MISTY MOUNT JALIBU

2010

As diverse as the nature of Papua New Guinea is, as diverse are its inhabitants. The indigenous groups have an extraordinary and rich oral tradition, including myths, folk tales, magical sayings and charms. Their material culture is limited to the indispensable things of daily life. However, they do cherish the modest luxury of body ornaments.

PONOWI VILLAGE, JALIBU MOUNTAINS, WESTERN HIGHLANDS

2010Hornbills are a family of birds. Hornbills are found in Africa, Asia and Pacific Northwest. The bill, much to those of the unrelated toucans reminiscent, in many species, is brightly coloured. Their impressive size and colour have helped make them a part of local indigenous cultures and rituals.

FRIEND OR FOE

2010

Eastern Highlanders are considered the friendliest of the highlands with fewer tribal fights than other provinces. Territorial conflicts arise not only with other indigenous groups. Also, western colonialism, mining and the advancing developing world threatens their culture.

The territory of villages and indigenous groups – the land they lived on and that provided them with food and shelter for thousands of years – is something the Highlanders have always defended with their lives. A threat from any foreigner will make them feel forced to fight back.

BIRD OF PARADISE

2010

The indigenous groups from the highlands supply the tribes from the valley with decorative bird feathers, tree kangaroo and cuscus pelts and fine rare woods that have long since disappeared from the valley. The valley people tend to decorate their bodies more than highlanders.

GOROKA SHOW

2010

The staging of the Goroka Show started back in 1957 at the Independence Park opposite the Goroka Main Market. It was first introduced and organized by Australian Kiaps (patrol officers). Kiaps from each district built round houses typical of their districts and proudly displayed their cultures. The Kiaps brought in singing groups from their area. It began as an entertainment weekend for everybody in the Province, but it was also a competition to see which was the best organized and administered district.

KUI EAST WIGMEN, MOUNT HAGEN

2010

Mount Hagen in the western highlands also hosts a large-scale cultural event. Various regional, provincial, even national indigenous dance groups gather to celebrate their cultural heritage in the form of sing-sing. It’s near the Baiyer District which hosts the biggest collection of birds and wildlife in Papua New Guinea, the Baiyer River Bird Sanctuary.  Traditional culture and beliefs remain strong in Mount Hagen and its surroundings.

LUFA BOYS

2010

Lufa is a town in the Eastern Highlands at the foot of Mount Michel with a population under 1000. Their tradition and culture have over decades strongly been influenced by Western society from evangelist missionaries to Facebook, but traditions and customs remain strong.

SEE AND BE SEEN

2010

The annually Goroka Show is a display of the traditional dress, dance and music from the diverse indigenous peoples Papua New Guinea inhabits. The biggest and most well-known tribes are the Huli Wigmen and Asaro Mudmen. Indigenous groups smaller in population and lower in rank, but no less creative in body decorations are: Kunana Su Wigmen, Kikuwya Wigmen, Wara Sua Group, Lufar Wigmen, Gahuku wigmen, Finchafen Group, Sobi Lau Waimo Group, Aipos Group, Wombun Group, Kamanibit Group, Arua Group

MIRAKEL LADY

2010

The Highlanders universe is filled with all kinds of spirits, some more personal in character than others. Particular reverence is paid to ancestral spirits. In times of trouble, domesticated pigs are sacrificed to the spirits of the ancestors.

GOROKA, EASTERN HIGHLANDS

2010Many indigenous groups of Papua New Guinea in the mountainous interior have little contact with one another, let alone with the outside world, and live within a non-monetarized economy dependent on subsistence agriculture.

GOROKA, EASTERN HIGHLANDS

2010Indigenous groups in Papua New Guinea are generally contacted in the sense that local authorities know they are there, but many remain pre-literate and out of reach of modern medicine and technology, and at the national or international level, the names of indigenous groups and information about them may be extremely hard to obtain.

GOGINE BOY

2010

A lot of Goroka, families have now taken to supplementing their family’s income by engaging in small agricultural and livestock businesses. The introduction of vanilla, wheat and rice has had a huge impact on agricultural enthusiasts throughout the Province. Rice and wheat are being grown for own consumption and/or selling while the vanilla is sold to the international market. Pigs, rabbits and especially chickens are readily farmed while fresh vegetables are still grown for the local and national markets.

Asaro

A number of different tribes have lived scattered across the highland plateau for 1000 years, in small agrarian clans, by the harsh terrain and divided by language, custom and tradition. The legendary Asaro Mudmen first met with the Western world in the middle of the 20th century.

 

 

Asaro Tribe
A number of different indigenous groups have lived scattered across the highland plateau for 1000 years, in small agrarian clans, isolated by the harsh terrain and divided by language, custom and tradition. The legendary Asaro Mudmen first met with the Western world in the middle of the 20th century.
“Knowledge is only a rumour until it is in the muscle”
Legend has it that the Mudmen were forced to flee from an enemy into the Asaro River where they waited until dusk to escape. The enemy saw them rise from the banks covered in mud and thought they were spirits. The Asaro still apply mud and masks to keep the illusion alive and terrify other indigenous groups.

 

“The circumstances in the mountain swamps were physically very arduous, but not particularly dangerous.”

Asaro Tribe

ASARO FROM THE EASTERN HIGHLANDS

2010

The mudmen could not cover their faces with mud because the  of Papua New Guinea thought that the mud from the Asaro river was poisonous. So instead of covering their faces with this alleged poison, they made masks from pebbles that they heated and water from the waterfall, with unusual designs such as long or very short ears either going down to the chin or sticking up at the top, long joined eyebrows attached to the top of the ears, horns and sideways mouths.

 

Asaro Tribe

“Our naivety got us access to many beautiful pictures.”

MUD MEN

2010

The Asaro cover themselves in mud, wear terrifying masks and brandishing spears. Legend has it that the Mudmen were defeated by an enemy
and forced to flee into the Asaro River.

They waited until dusk before attempting to escape. The enemy saw them rise from the muddy banks covered in mud and thought they were spirits. Terrified, they ran back to their village. After that episode, all of the neighbouring villages came to believe the Asaro had the spirits of the river on their side. Clever elders of the village saw the advantage of this and kept the illusion alive.

Huli

It is believed that the first Papua New Guineans migrated to the island over 45000 years ago. Today, over 3 million , half of the heterogeneous population, live in the highlands. Some of these communities have engaged in low-scale tribal conflict with their neighbours for millennia.

 

It is believed that the first Papua New Guineans migrated to the island over 45000 years ago. Today, over 3 million people, half of the heterogeneous population, live in the highlands. Some of these communities have engaged in low-scale indigenous conflict with their neighbours for millennia.
The indigenous groups fight over land, pigs and women. Great effort is made to impress the enemy. The largest indigenous group, the Huli wigmen, paint their faces yellow, red and white and are famous for their tradition of making ornamented wigs from their own hair. An axe with a claw completes the intimidating effect.

“We did know Papua New Guinea was a wild place, but not how intense it really was.”

HULI WIG MEN AT AMBUA FALLS

2010

The traditional highland apparel is scant: women wear grass skirts, men wear nothing but a koteka, or penis gourd. However, to impress and scare off the enemy, men go to considerably more effort.

The largest highland are the Huli Wigmen, who paint their faces yellow, red, and white. and are famous for their tradition of making ornamental wigs from their own hair. These look like plumed hats, intricately decorated with feathers of birds of paradise and parrots. Other ornaments include shells, beads, pig tusks, hornbill skulls and foliage.

“For all the remote places I had travelled in my life, with Papua New Guinea I was stepping into the unknown.”

AMBUA FALLS, TARI VALLEY

2010

The Huli are traditionally animists who abide by strict ritualised offerings to appease the spirits of their ancestors.

Sickness and misfortune are thought to be the work of witchcraft and sorcery.

“Using long exposures to get a deep focus in low light conditions, our subjects would often have to stand very, very still.”

TARI VALLEY, WESTERN HIGHLANDS

2010

The Tari Valley, with magnificent views of the valley below and surrounding peaks. High mountain forests with roaring waterfalls.  Life is simple in the highland villages. The residents have plenty of good food, close-knit families and a great respect for the wonders of nature.

The highlanders live by hunting, done primarily by men, and by gathering plants and growing crops, done primarily by women. The men help clear the land, but the rest of the cultivation is the responsibility of the women.

They practice cyclical agriculture, moving to a new location after the soil is exhausted to allow reforestation and recovery. The women are exceptional farmers. The first Westerners to visit the highlands were impressed to find vast valleys of carefully planned gardens and irrigation ditches. Crops grown include sweet potatoes, corn, cabbages and maniocs.

“Getting the light just right demanded a lot of patience from people.”

AMBUA FALLS, TARI VALLEY

2010

Tribal warfare is a common among the indigenous peoples of Papua New Guinea. They fight over three things: land, pigs and women – in that order. To be regarded as important, men need plenty of each: land forfarming, pigs as a measure of wealth and a number of wives to tend to land and livestock.

Himba

Himba

The Himba are an ancient of tall, slender and statuesque herders. Since the 16th century they have lived in scattered settlements, leading a life that has remained unchanged, surviving war and droughts. The tribal structure helps them live in one of the most extreme environments on earth.

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The Himba are an ancient indigenous group of tall, slender and statuesque herders. Since the 16th century they have lived in scattered settlements, leading a life that has remained unchanged, surviving war and droughts. The tribal structure helps them live in one of the most extreme environments on earth.
“Don’t start your farming with cattle, start it with people”
Each member belongs to two clans, through the father and the mother. Marriages are arranged with a view to spreading wealth. Looks are vital, it tells everything about one’s place within the group and phase of life. The headman, normally a grandfather, is responsible for the rules of the indigenous group.

MYSTERIOUS HARTMANN VALLEY

December 2011

In rainy years, the Hartmann’s valleys become grassy expanses, but generally their flat topographies are covered by sand broken only by a few tough grasses, shrubs and the mysterious ‘fairy circles’.

HER NAME IS PERAA MUHENJE

December 2011

Though scarcely clad, looks are vital to the Himba. It tells everything about one’s place within the group and phase of life. The characteristic ‘look’ of the Himba comes from intricate hairstyles, traditional clothing, personal adornments in the form of jewellery and the use of a mixture of goat fat, herbs and red ochre. This paste, known as otjize, is not only rubbed on the skin, but also into hair and on traditional clothing.

There has been much speculation about the origins of this practice, with some claiming it is to protect their skin from the sun or repel insects. But the Himba say it is an aesthetic consideration, a sort of traditional make-up that women apply every morning when they wake. Men do not use otjize.

DAY TO DAY IN HARTMANN VALLEY

December 2011

The Himba day starts early. Women arise before or at dawn and apply Otjize. They milk the cattle, which are then herded to the grazing areas by the men. If the grazing pasture is poor, the entire village will move to a place with lusher grazing land. Young men often set up separate, temporary villages and move around with the cattle, leaving the women, children and older men at the main homestead.

Women take care of cooking, gardening, milking cattle, looking after children, caring for livestock in the kraal and making clothes, jewellery and otjize. Flour is made from maize and butter is churned. Wood has to be collected, and water has to be carried from wells. The children help with the tasks.

NAMIB RAND

December 2011

The Himba have lived in scattered settlements throughout the region of the Kunene River in north-west Namibia and south-west Angola. The homes of the Himba are simple cone-shaped structures of saplings bound together with palm leaves and plastered with mud and dung. A family may move from one home to another several times a year to seek grazing pastures for their goats and cattle.

Although constantly jeopardised by development, including proposed hydroelectric projects, many Himba lead a traditional lifestyle that has remained unchanged for generations, surviving war and droughts.

BEAUTY IN OMBIVANGO VILLAGE NEAR EPUPA FALLS

December 2011

For centuries, necklaces and bracelets have been made of shells, leather and copper. Married women wear a small crown made of goat skin on
their heads. Girls wear their hair in two braids over their brow.

When reaching puberty, they adopt a hairstyle with a multitude of tiny braids that have been ‘waxed’ with Otjize. Himba boys can be recognised by a small plaited pony tail that runs from crown to forehead. Boys that wish to marry sport the same tail, but wear it tied in a bow. A married man wears his hair in a ‘Turban’.

UATERERETA FROM OMBIVANGO VILLAGE NEAR EPUPA FALLS

December 2011

Marriages are arranged with a view to spreading wealth. Once married, the women move to the villages of their husbands where they adopt the rules of the new clan. Himba men are not monogamous and may have a number of wives and children in different homesteads. Women are not monogamous either and may have a number of partners. However, courtship and relationships are bound by strict rules and modes of behaviour.

The best time to visit Sossusvlei is close to sunrise and sunset; the colours are amazing.

DEAD VLEI, SOSSUSVLEI

2011

The sand dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert are often referred to as the highest dunes in the world. Various arguments are laid out to support this claim, but all miss the point, which is that Sossusvlei is surely one of the most spectacular sights in Namibia.

DEAD VLEI, SOSSUSVLEI

2011

‘Vlei’ is the Afrikaans word for a shallow depression filled with water. During exceptional rainy seasons, Sossusvlei may fill with water, causing Namibians to flock there to witness the grand sight, but normally it is bone dry.

HIMBA FAMILY LIFE

2011

The Himba live under a indigenous structure based on bilateral descent that helps them live in one of the most extreme environments on earth. Every indigenous member belongs to two clans: one through the father (Patriclan or Oruzo), another through the mother (Matriclan or Eanda). The eldest male leads the clan. Sons live in their father’s clan. A son doesn’t inherit his father’s cattle, but that of his mother’s brother instead.

Himba children are cared for by all the members of the family in the homestead. Between the ages of 10 and 12, the bottom four incisor teeth of the child are knocked out in a ceremony that is believed to protect the child from dangerous influences and ensure the protection of the ancestors.

 

EPUPA FALLS

December 2011

Women take care of cooking, gardening, milking cattle, looking after children, caring for livestock in the kraal and making clothes, jewellery and Otjize. Flour is made from maize and butter is churned. Wood has to be collected, and water has to be carried from wells. The children help with the tasks.

Himba believe in omiti, meaning ‘bad medicine’ or ‘witchcraft’

MATUTJAVI TJAVARA IN EPUPA FALLS

December 2011

The Himba practice monotheism and ancestor worship. Their god is Mukuru, creator of everything, but a remote god.

Communication with Mukuru only takes place through the spirits of the male ancestors. For this reason the ancestral fire, or Okuruwo, is kept burning 24 hours a day. Mukuru created man, woman and cattle from the same tree, although he does not have unlimited power and ancestors can also greatly influence worldly events.

One of the duties of the male leader of the family is to maintain the ancestral fire, where he prays to departed progenitors and asks for their blessings for his family. Whereas Mukuru has power over most physical elements of the earth, such as the land, water and weather, ancestors control more immediate concerns, such as the health of kin or cattle.