The people of Ovahimba and Ovazimba tribes in the Kunene and Omusati regions in Northern Namibia have an upheld culture that has defied western influence and agitation. With a population of over 50,, the women engage in the daily activity of milking their cows, taking care of the children and other extensive duties while the men go hunting leaving, sometimes, for an extended period of time. You cannot ignore the red skin they have. The red colour seen on their skin is called, the otjize paste a combination of butterfat , omuzumba scrub and ochre and its function is to protect their skin from the sun and insect bites. Rather than take their baths, the women take a smoke bath and apply aromatic resins on their skin. When a visitor comes knocking, a man shows his approval and pleasure of seeing his guest by giving him the Okujepisa Omukazendu treatment. This practice literally means that his wife is given to his guest to spend the night while the husband sleeps in another room. In a case where there is no available room, her husband will sleep outside. The woman has little or no opinion in the decision making. She has an option of refusing to sleep with him but has to sleep in the same room as the guest.
These women got married. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. Kitawasi, Tanzania — After leaving her husband, Boke Chaha, 25, married a widow. But it wasn't for love. She wed year-old Christina Wambura five years ago, under the Kuria tradition of nyumba ntobhu, or "house of women. But it also offers women something else: safety. It is the highest domestic violence rate in all of Tanzania. For an increasing number of Kuria women, nyumba ntobhu has provided an exit strategy. Boke Chaha, 25, and her son at their home in Kitawasi.
The practice is most entrenched in the country's south, where Mwase's Golden Village is located. Mwase was just 10 when she was led, along with about a dozen other girls, to remote huts outside her village during winter vacation from school in August. The girls were accompanied by older women from their village in Chiradzulu district, near the border with Mozambique. According to Mwase, most of the two weeks she spent at the initiation camp were dedicated to learning how to engage in sexual acts. She had been excited for this time with friends away from home, but that feeling quickly gave way to dread as she learned the true purpose of initiation. The man should be on top of you and you should be dancing for him, making him happy. The anamkungwi told the girls to lie on top of one another and get a feel for the various positions described to them. This will mark them for life, and they will be ostracized if they don't complete the custom as their mothers and grandmothers did before them. These guardians often force their daughters to go through with the ritual for fear of breaking with tradition. Initiation is a centuries-old practice in the region, according to Harriet Chanza of the World Health Organization.
Gerewol is the chance for them to come together for a traditional festival of music and dance, which lasts for seven days and nights. September marks the end of the rainy season and a time to gather ahead of their transhumance migration. The men participate in many dances in front of three female judges, including the Yaake which is a mating call in which men battle it out for sexual supremacy.
Each female judge gets to choose her own winner — and winning brings with it acclaim and their pick of women in the tribe. Those who wish to be stolen wait until their favorite man passes by and taps them on the shoulder. The fact that the women watching may already have a husband is not important to this polygamous tribe — because in the Wodaabe women have all the sexual freedom — and are allowed more than one husband. Women have all the power when it comes to sex in the Wodaabe tribe. Unmarried girls are allowed to have sex whenever and with whomever they wish.
Their first marriage is traditionally arranged by their families when the couple are children — called koogal — or they can marry because of love and attraction, called tee gal. A bride stays with her husband until she becomes pregnant, after which goes to live with her mother. While she is boofeydo, she is not allowed to have any contact with her husband, and he is not allowed to express any interest in either her or the child. After two to three years, she is permitted to visit her husband, but it is still taboo that she should live with him or bring the child with her; this only becomes permissible when her mother has managed to purchase all the items that are necessary for her home.
But by then the woman may be ready for her second marriage — likely to be men of their own choosing at the Gerewol — and it is all about looks. The Wodaabe, are the vainest of the African tribes and consider themselves the most beautiful. In fact, no self-respecting man, it is said, would be without his pocket mirror.
Unlike the women, the men have relatively little control when it comes to sex. They have no say in whether a woman will run off with them — and even less on whether their own wives will leave them for another man. For this reason not every man allows his wife attend the Gerewol. But what I like most is finding other women and taking them into the bush. You steal a woman from others and she will give sons to your lineage, even grandsons. Only the Wodaabe know how to do that. Stay ahead of the curve Get top posts first!
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