Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Some Things Remain Unchanged

These images were taken in the early 1970's, when Namibia was still called South West Africa. The Herero women in the photos are on their way to celebrate Herero Day in Okahandja wearing their distinct traditional dress.
The Herero came under the influence of German missionaries during the 19th century who took exception to what they considered to be the immodesty of the traditional Herero dress, or lack of dress. At the time the Victorian Dress was still considered to be appropriate for a woman and the missionaries wifes dressed the women of the Herero accordingly by sewing long dresses for them that covered the arms and the neck. The first dresses were sewn of a material called Blueprint, imported from Germnay.
But I must say I love African creativeness.  Just look at the girl in the back with the leather boots and the red mini skirt. No matter under what and whose influence Africans came over the years, there will always be uniqueness and freedom of interpretation in what they do.

Herero Women On A Farm

After a while the Herero women adopted the style of dress for which they are so famous today. The dress itself falls to the ankles and has long sleeves and a bodice that buttons up close to the neck. Over this, many women also wear a shawl. 
Under the dress the women wear seven petticoats to add fullness to the skirts. The uniquely shaped headpiece is said to resemble and pay homage to the horns of their cattle. Although  Namibia is a modern African country today, Herero women are still seen proudly wearing this elaborate costume in rural parts of the country as well as in the capital Windhoek capital. 

And by the way the cream colored handbag is the bomb and some vintage loving ladies would go crazy about it.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails