I travelled to Namibia in 2013 to videotape the lives of the Himba and the Sen people.
Once the San roamed over most of the African continent. Certainly they were living in the Kalahari and Tsodilo Hills as far back as 30,000 years ago, as archaeological finds in the Kalahari have demonstrated. Some linguists even credit them with the invention of language.*
Eric talks about the challenges faced by the San people.
Queen Elizabeth is a Himba woman who works as an independent tour guide.
She talks about the Himba hut and how its constructed.
She talks about traditional healers.
The San people (or Saan), also known as Bushmen or Basarwa, are members of various indigenous hunter-gatherer people of Southern Africa, whose territories span Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Unlike most other African countries, where the San have perished or disappeared through war and interbreeding, Botswana and Namibia retain the remnants of their San communities -- barely 100,000 individuals in total, which may include many mixed San. Of these, around 60% live in Botswana and 35% in Namibia, with remainder scattered throughout South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe and Zambia.*
She talks about her guiding business.
She describes the wooden structure used for drying things in the sun.
The Himba is a tribal group numbering not more than 50,000 people. They are a semi-nomadic pastoral people that are closely related to the Herero, yet continue to live much as they have for generations on end. The women in particular are famous for smearing themselves with a fragrant mixture of ochre, butter and bush herbs, which dyes their skin a burnt-orange hue, and serves as a natural sunblock and insect repellent. They also use the mixture to cover their braided hair, which has an effect similar to dreadlocking. Instead of wearing Western clothes, they prefer to dress traditionally, bare-breasted, with little more than a pleated animal-skin skirt in the way of clothing.*
Central Namibia is defined by the Namib Desert, a barren and desolate landscape of undulating apricot-coloured dunes interspersed with dry pans. Nowhere is this truer than at Sossusvlei, Namibia's most famous strip of sand, were gargantuan dunes tower more than 300m above the underlying strata.*
Less cat than greyhound, the cheetah is a world-class sprinter.*
She talks about how food is stored to preserve it.
She describes the coral for cattle.
I asked the local Hmba kids to show me their best moves.
The Himba is the famous tribe of "red people" in northern Namibia. Women paint themselves twice a day with red clay mixed with butter. They wear short skirts made of goat skins and long red clay covered plaits of hair ending with tassels.
At first glance, it may seem that there are only women in the Himba tribe. Almost all of them are traditionally dressed, proud and beautiful. In contrast, the men usually have adopted western clothes and you don't get to see them much in the villages anyway, because they are often far away with their herds, or in the nearest pub. They are getting fond of alcohol (just like, for example, the Surma in the Omo Valley), which is now getting in by the newly repaired road. The Himba women are not pleased about the men's adaptation of Western Ideologies.
*These captions are from Botswana and Namibia -- Lonely Planet's travel guide.