Himba, The Red People of Namibia – Go Yamagata

This month’s correspondent’s club exhibtion is by a Japanese photographer, Go Yamagata.

(From the FCCJ notice)

The “Himba” African tribal group live in an arid area of North-western Namibia known as “Kaokoland”. Since his first encounter with the Himba people in 2004, photographer Go Yamagata has been fascinated by their traditional lifestyle as well as their beauty. He has made a number of visits to Himba villages, the results of which are on display in this exhibition.

Born in Gumma Japan in 1974, Go Yamagata’s fascination with Africa began at a very young age. As a child, he lived in the West African countries of Burkina Faso and Togo where he went to school with children from local tribal groups. He spent much of his time playing in the bush with his friends, and developed a very strong affection towards Africa’s natural environment.

As well as the photos being excellent in themselves, its great to have photos so very far away, in so many ways, from the glitz and dosh in Ginza!  Here are some of the images with captions by Go.

“This girl had just woken up when I arrived in their village one early morning. Children are not allowed to sleep in the huts. Instead, they sleep outdoors.”

“Himba villages are composed of extended family members and is headed by an elderly man.. This man is a chief of a samll village situated on the shores of the Kunene river.”

Himba village chief

“Himba women grind a mineral called hematite into fine powder and mix them with butter in order to make a mixture that is used to paint their skin.”

Himba woman grinding ochre into a fine powder

“Himba women start their day by the ritual painting of their skin. As they hardly ever bathe, this is the equivalent of a morning shower.”

Himba women's morning ritual

“Collecting firewood for cooking is a woman’s job. Where trees are abundant, they only have to walk a short distance to find dry, dead branches.”

A Himba woman carrying firewood

(The exhibition runs until the end of the month. Although the FCCJ is a private club, its possible to take a look at the photos in the Main Bar and Sushi Bar if you ask at reception.)

I know Go will be checking this blog, so if you have any questions for him, feel free to post them here.

One Response to “Himba, The Red People of Namibia – Go Yamagata”

  1. I really like the second photo – the portrait of the man. Very powerful image!

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