Monday, September 11, 2006

a much belated post about the Herero festival

A few weeks ago Okahandja was invaded by Hereros from all over Namibia. They all converged on Otjiserandu (which is the area around the Multi Purpose Center) camping, braaing, drinking, marching, dancing, celebrating the "holy fire", and consulting their ancestors. It began on friday with everyone coming into town and setting up camp ,then continued through Sunday afternoon. I went to watch the festivities on saturday with Maveja and Walter. Here are some of the shots I like from the weekend:

Herero ladies in tradional dress:

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the Generals on horseback

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the "holy fire" ceremony

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a little explaination: the Cheif takes a gulp of water, swishes it around inside his mouth, then spits it out in the face of the person kneeling in front of him for a blessing from the ancestors. the water is supposed to dry on its own, not be wiped off. The ancestors are consulted through "holy fire" anytime there is a big decision being made, or a large purchase (like a car) to seek the ancestors approval.

Maveja and I in traditional dress

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(the little girl in the picture with us is Hitjiverwe, Maveja's little sister. what she is wearing is traditional dress for young Herero girls. It is made out of leather and has a flap in the front, but is open in the back. Girls may wear this outfit until they are 12 years old. Oh, and that is Maveja's house in the background.)

1 comment:

AmyLea said...

Wow, is it time for the Herero festival already??? It seems like it just happened. You look fabulous in that dress. :-)