Curiosities, traditions and legends of Namibia

The mystery of the "fairy circles"

The "fairy circles", as they are called by local people, are a phenomenon that occurs in some areas of Angola and Namibia and consists of circles (some reach 15 meters in diameter) that develop in the savannah and which interior not grow grass.. The Himba people have them always related to a divine intervention so inexplicable. Only by recent studies conducted by a German botanist it showed the scientific explanation of the phenomenon thanks to a work of observation and analysis in a range of 2,000 km long desert.
The study showed that termites are the only animals in the soil when the wheels begin to form. The researcher found that the termites eat the grass roots thus removing a large part of it when it grows during the rainy season. Living in groups, termites thus form circles in the soil where the grass does not grow because there are more roots. This determines two things: the grass continues to grow on the edge of the circle made sterile by termites, within the circle soil moisture is better preserved than elsewhere giving way to grass that is on the edge to survive even during the season dried, thus forming circles well defined. In the first meter deep focus 5 cm of water which remains even during the dry season. So a real bioengineered of nature that has embarrassed the human search for years.


The traditional drink of Namibia

Oshikundu (also known as Ontaku) is a beverage made from the fermentation of natural pearl millet flour called Mahangu. The alcohol content of the beverage ranges and to be acceptable to the entire population.
A small amount of hot water is mixed with the flour to form a slurry known as "oshihete shoshikundu" to which is added a small amount of the previous production of Ontaku. The whole is fermented during the night and morning water is added and the sugar to allow the continuation of the fermentation. At a time between 24 and 48 hours (depending on the alcohol content) the drink is ready to drink some 'bubbly and a little' sweet. Needless to say, the production of oshikundu is difficult to find outside of Namibia.
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Himba women

With their skin dyed red and the elaborate braids, ethnicity Himba women are among the most recognizable in Namibia.
Traditionally, the Himba are a semi-nomadic etinia occupying areas of northern Namibia and Angola, with a lifestyle based on farming. In modern times, the groups of the Himba have become less nomadic and settled mainly in small villages in the regions of Kunene and Kaokoland Namibia. The women are easily recognizable for a number of reasons, not least of which is the mixture of butter and ocher in which cover most of the body. The mixture gives the skin a reddish color, and this practice has a function both aesthetic and functional, as it moisturizes the skin and protects from the sun as well as considering this as an embellishment. Another feature that is known is the way in which they bring the hair based on braids which are then covered with the same mixture with which they cover the body leaving free only the final part. The mixture dries and braids become stiff and delicate. This tradition stems from reasons of necessity (as often happens) due to lack of water and the presence of various parasites. It is not easy to maintain a long hair in these environmental conditions so covering it with these mixtures can wash your hair less often than to protect them against pests.
Even the "jewels" who wear plenty have their own symbolism, some can only be worn by unmarried others only by married women. Even bracelets and anklets have specific meanings that are lost in the ancestral traditions of this population
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Wedding rituals in Namibia

The combination of two lives, two families and two communities that is the meaning of any African wedding. In all communities the bride has a very special role and is treated with respect, because it is believed that she is a link between the unborn and the ancestors.
In parts of Namibia, they are practiced rituals of wedding details. One of these states that the bride should hide all a week before the wedding. The wedding day must be completely covered and no one can look at it without taking off the veil and can not speak aloud. During the ceremony, the bride has to change her clothes and her jewels again, After the celebration, the bride remains for the rest of the day in a small room with a girl who keeps her company and eventually to accompany on her journey to his new family. Whatever the bride needed, it must be said to his companion whispering.