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Himba women rub their bodies and hair with ocre and myrrh . In the remote northwest Namibia the Himba have always harvested and processed Myrrh . A knowledge passed down from other desert peoples – the Egyptians, the Ethiopians, the Omanis and Yemenis – since ancient times. Commiphora comes from a drought-resistant tree : score the bark and the sap seeps out. This hardens to an aromatic resin :  myrrh.

“ The Himba wear little clothing, but the women are famous for covering themselves with otjize, a mixture of butter fat and ochre. The mixture gives their skins a reddish tinge. This symbolizes earth’s rich red color and the blood that symbolizes.


A Nuba man from southern Sudan Photographer: Leni Riefenstahl, 1977 “The Nuba people are famous for their elaborate body art. Designs on the body are beautiful, but they also have social meanings,.