Herero People of Namibia

Herero woman in blue dress

I could do without the Daily Mail‘s screaming headline (AMAZING African tribe!), as well as the article’s potted Explanation from Anthropological Experts, but the Herero people in Jim Naughton’s National Geographic-style portraits are possessed of a beauty that I found humbling.

5 thoughts on “Herero People of Namibia

  1. Michael Grant Smith

    The Daily Mail‘s stories tend to be as shouty and incoherent as local TV news reporting, but damn, those are some fine images.

    Seems to be keeping the Germans away, so who’s to say what works and what doesn’t?

  2. Sheila Ryan Post author

    The headline (The Namibians who STILL dress like their colonial masters: Tribe clings to 19th century dress ‘to protest against the Germans who butchered them’) reminds me of a Robert Benchley essay from the 1930s titled “Isn’t It Remarkable?”

    Benchley pokes at the “believe it or not” species of journalism (and thinking), with its implied sense of superiority.

    “Remarkably accurate picture of a goose from an Egyptian painting, circa 3000 BC.”

    “Isn’t Grandpa remarkable? Eighty years old and reads the paper every day.”

    And something else about Eskimos. Something remarkable.

    Benchley concludes by suggesting that if we didn’t remark on all of this remarkableness, then where we would we be? We might have to concede that we’re not all that different from ancient Egyptians and Eskimos and Grandpa.

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