Perforation: 12.50mm x 12.50mm
References: Mrs.Antje Otto-Reiner, Ethnologist
Mr.Bernard Schurz, Curator, National Museum of Namibia
The Native Tribes of South West Africa (Hahn, Vedder & Fourie, Frank Cass & Co., 1966)
Hair-styles, Head-dresses & Ornaments in Namibia & Southern Angola.
(A.Scherz, E.Scherz, G.Taapopi, A.Otto, Gamsberg Macmillian, 1992)
Traditionally, girls reaching marriageable age passed through an important initiation ceremony called ohango. Ankle length sinews were plaited (eembuvi) and decorated above the forehead with small white beads (omawe)
Traditionally, Damara women wore cloaks and aprons made of skin. The cloth headdress and style of dress shown was adopted after contact with European missionary wives, probably around 1860, and is still seen today.
Herero (leather headdress)
The traditional headdress of Herero woen is still ekori. It consists of rolled up leather cap with three high points decorated in various patterns. Iron beads often adorn the hood of this headdress.
Diverse ornamentation of personal choice characteristics San women. Fastened to hair often treated with crushed seeds are bead strands of ostrich eggshell, copper and traded glass beads.
Traditional necklaces worn by Mafue women of the Caprivi were made from strung seeds and reeds as well as the highly prized traded glass beads.
Adapted from the bonnets worn by Voortrekker wives, Baster women traditionally wore, and still wear on special occasion such as Tsamkubis Day, decorative bonnets of varying style.
This traditional hairstyle is called thihukeka. The front piece was made by rubbing the head with a mixture of fragrant grass, crushed wood and fat. Brass buttons symbolized nobility, wealth, and children.
Herero (flowered headdress)
After the arrival of missionaries, Herero women began wearing Victorian styled clothing with a headdress called otjikaeva. The style varies from upright to triangular and is still seen today.
The erembe headdress, made from the skin of a goat's head, is worn by a married woman or one who has a child. The thick collar of beads (ondengura) is only worn by women with two or more children.
The middle and front horns of a married woman's omhatela headdress represent a bull and the rear horns a cow. The omhatela is made of hair and plant fibre rudded with crushed tree roots and fat.
After contract with wives if European missionaries, Nama women adopted colourful dresses and headscarves wound around the head.
The horn-like structures of the oshipando/ iipando hairstyle were made from hair and sinew wrapped in palm leaves. The oshikoma at the back of the head was also made from hair and palm leaves rubbed with fatty red ochre.