Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Experience the people and culture in Namibia

When you travel to Namibia you will immediately see there is a diverse amount of culture in the country. Some 1.8 million people live in Namibia. They form a fairly diverse population, sparse in much of the country, with only 2.1 people per square kilometre. Over 70% of Namibians belong to dark skinned, Bantu speaking peoples such as the Ovambo and Herero.The population of Khoisan, although small in comparison, is the largest in Africa. Other cultural minorities include the Damara, Caucasians (mainly Afrikaners and ethnic Germans), and people of mixed blood known as Coloured people.

San nomads once roamed the land in small groups. They kept ancestral territories where they found shelter in caves or under rock overhangs near a of source of water, or alternatively they made make shift shelters from bits and pieces of vegetation.


The Nama are pastoralists. They look a lot like San, just lighter in colour and generally somewhat taller. The two tribes also speak similar tongues, widely considered to be part of the same phylum or group of language families, full of clicked consonants and slurred vowels.


The Damara People share the same language with the Nama People but little else. They are taller, sturdier and darker skinned. Their culture and beliefs are also markedly different.


The Ovambo people established a number of kingdoms on the floodplains north of Etosha where the majority still live. The population is the densest in the country, about five times the national average, mainly engaged in subsistence agriculture.

The Herero are arguably the most culturally recognisable in Namibia. The Herero women are often seen in ankle length dresses with high neck lines, tight bodices and long puffed sleeves. Adapted from European fashion in the Victorian period, the style of the dress is now regarded as a cultural tradition to them. It is worn with a cloth headdress that is pointed on either side in a shape meant to symbolise cattle horns.

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