Documentary Photography – Namibia’s Cattle Farmers

Portrait of Vuaanderua, the Headman’s niece.
Etanga, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 2000

 

Filmmaker, Ethnographer and Photographer Rina Sherman is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  These images are from her book “Ma vie avec les Ovahimba” . To see Rina’s gallery of works click on any image.

 

The Ovahimba, a community of cattle farmers, live on both sides of the Kunene River that forms the border between Namibia and Angola. From 1997 to 2004, the ethnographer, filmmaker and photographer Rina Sherman shared the life of an extended family during a fieldwork study of seven years. During this time, she created in-depth documentation of some aspects of their everyday and ritual lives. The archival collection “The Ovahimba Years – Les années Ovahimba”, consisting of several hundred hours of video and sound, thousands of photographs and many notes, composes a unique ensemble of this community, both of universal interest and innovative as an ethnography. Rina Sherman donated it to the French National Library (BnF) in 2014. In the fall of 2015, the BnF – François Mitterrand hosted her The Ovahimba years / Rina Sherman, a trans-disciplinary exhibition, featuring fine art photographic archival and silver prints, twelve short video films, ten soundscapes set up at the entrance, a collection of objects, drawings and working documents. Rina Sherman intends to return to Namibia and Angola to continue her fieldwork.

 

Twakupasana and her friends plays a last Ondjongo dance in the dry riverbed on their way home. Etanga, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 2001

Twakupasana and her friends plays a last Ondjongo dance in the dry riverbed on their way home.
Etanga, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 2001

 

Mukaandjoao helps Kakaendona to attach Tjimbosi, her newbord, to her calf leather baby carrier. oHere, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 1998

Mukaandjoao helps Kakaendona to attach Tjimbosi, her newborn, to her calf leather baby carrier.
oHere, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 1998

 

The Headman of Etanga holds Tjimbosi during his namegiving ceremony, with left, Omukurukaze, the Headman's wife, Ngavekupe, the father, and Kakaendona, themother and the Headman's youngest daughter. oHere, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 1998

The Headman of Etanga holds Tjimbosi during his namegiving ceremony, with left, Omukurukaze, the Headman’s wife, Ngavekupe, the father, and Kakaendona, the mother and the Headman’s youngest daughter.
oHere, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 1998

 

Katjekere's mother wearing a headdress traditionally worn by a woman for her marraige. Wakapawe, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 2000

Katjekere’s mother wearing a headdress traditionally worn by a woman for her marriage.
Wakapawe, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 2000

 

A last meal of a three year period of mourning shared among elders and young men of the family. Embuende, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 2001

A last meal of a three year period of mourning shared among elders and young men of the family.
Embuende, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 2001

 

Tjimbosi, Ueesiapo and Nguaarua watch as Mukaakakoye tries her hand at grinding dried perfumed plants to mix with iron oxide stone powder that with cow fat makes up the red unction women use to adorn their bodies. oHere, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 2000

Tjimbosi, Ueesiapo and Nguaarua watch as Mukaakakoye tries her hand at grinding dried perfumed plants to mix with iron oxide stone powder that with cow fat makes up the red unction women use to adorn their bodies.
oHere, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 2000

 

Nuku's children haul water from a three-tiered hand dug waterhole and keep the walls of the tidy in order to prevent them from caving in. Etanga, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 2000

Nuku’s children haul water from a three-tiered hand dug waterhole and keep the walls of the tidy in order to prevent them from caving in.
Etanga, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 2000

 

First hair dressing of Kandavi Rina Katiti, Kakaendona's youngest daughter, age three weeks. oHere, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 2002

First hair dressing of Kandavi Rina Katiti, Kakaendona’s youngest daughter, age three weeks.
oHere, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 2002

 

Kandavi Rina Katiti, a year later, now with bracelets and necklaces showing her clan colors. oHere, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 2003

Kandavi Rina Katiti, a year later, now with bracelets and necklaces showing her clan colors.
oHere, Kunene North Region, Namibia, 2003

 

Ma vie avec les Ovahimba, Rina Sherman, Hugo & Cie, 2007, Out-of-print, New release by K Press due in 2016.

Ma vie avec les Ovahimba, Rina Sherman, Hugo & Cie, 2007,
Out-of-print, New release by K Press due in 2016.

 

See also:

Film & Video

Photography

By Rina Sherman

 


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