|The woman is a member of the Himba Tribe (Picture: Bjorn Persson/Caters)|
Beautiful photographs of an African tribeswoman shopping at her local supermarket illustrate how tradition sits alongside modernity in Namibia. Carrying a baby on her back and wearing mud to protect her skin from the sun, the woman picks up flour, sugar and washing powder.
Local shoppers didn’t look twice, but Swedish photographer Bjorn Persson, who was in the area to film a documentary on the Himba tribe, stopped to take a picture. ‘She did not notice me at first, but after a while she realised what I was doing,’ he said.
‘The Himba women always dress like that, no matter if they are at home in their village or visiting the big, modern cities.
|Checking out the deals on washing powder (Picture: Bjorn Persson/Caters)|
|The photos show globalisation in practice (Picture: Bjorn Persson/Caters)|
‘It’s for their own beauty and tradition. They don’t just dress up for tourists as some other tribes do. ‘The hair and whole body is covered with a certain kind of mud to protect them from the sun, and the clothes are mostly made of goat skin.’
The woman, from the Himba tribe in Opuwo, Namibia, is thought to be in her early twenties. Himba tribespeople lead a very traditional lifestyle, and so the photos have been interpreted as showing the pervasive nature of globalisation.
|A member of the Himba Tribe in Namibia (Picture: Caters)|
For the other villagers, the tribeswomen’s appearance at the store is not unusual. ‘They are used to it in that village, and so people did not stare,’ Bjorn said.
‘But I felt fascinated, confused, happy and sad all at the same time. ‘The photos are a stark representation of the old world and traditions clashing with the new.
‘For me, they are provocative and raise many questions.’
- Metro, UK