Saturday, November 17, 2007

pretty as a picture, 
the dresses of Herero women 

Very beautiful and completely different to what we are used to.
It seems that the Hereros migrated from the east African lakes to Namibia about 300 years ago where they settled in Kaokoland in the Northern Namibia. Then  they moved further inland into Namibia as far south as Okahandja.

What I find intriguing about the Herero people is the fashion of these polite mannered women. The basic Victorian style of their dresses was picked up from the early missionaries, but the style of their hats are unique and a very important facet of their attire. A Herero woman is prim on her clothes and manners. She does not talk loud or use vulgar language and she moves flowingly without running or sudden movements.

The Herero people are on average tall, the men as well as the woman. My friend Elizabeth agreed to pose for a few photos. These are not her very best clothes but it is enough for this blog.

The sleeves and backs of the dresses are as decorative as the front. By the way Elizabeth is near to 60 years old. Take a look at her face again girls - no expensive creams and surgeries. (no gray hair either - I would have liked that for myself..sigh)..  

Only a small portion of the skirt is visible, but it is enough to see the pleats which are ironed into shape - each one from top to the bottom.

The top layers of the many petticoats. Add the heavy long dress and a hot climate. I do not know how they handle it ?! The first thing our women would object to is the fact that so many layers of material would make them look fatter than they really are. Obviously these women (and their men) have other priorities in life.

Take a close look at the fine pleats on the skirt. Easier to see on the photo below.
These women can iron! Not to mention the patience that goes with all that ironing.

My grand daughter loves Elizabeth. One day when I was impatient with the child Elizabeth said. "Do not be impatient with her. One day when you are old she will return the patience and love you give now." I think our culture has given up on that too ??

Everything changes - nature, cultures, languages - and it seems that the Herero dresses are fading out amongst the younger generation of women. These dresses are very expensive compared to modern clothes and it is not designed for a busy life in cramped office conditions. It would be a pity not to see Herero women in their beautiful attire walking slowly and moving gracefully.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Everybody looked forward to visit the throne in Caprivi Namibia
It is a long hot drive fromWindhoek in the center of Namibia to the Caprivi which is the northern border. The Caprivi is a narrow strip of land above the Kavango swamps in Botswana. Four large rivers border or run through the Caprivi. Okavango, Zambezi, Shakawe and Linyanti. The Caprivi strip stops not far from the Victoria falls. It is part of Namibia and is bordered by Angola, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Imagine "trouble with the neighbors" that would be a major headache.

For me the most beautiful tourist attraction would be the Baobab tree. According to the legend the devil was so jealous when he saw this beautiful tree made by God that he plucked it out and planted it back into the ground with the leaves underground and the roots above ground.  T no avail,  this tree still remained the most beautiful tree.

No time for site seeing now, first things first. A visit to the throne.  The sign on the entrance said "Kings".

  The girls just hoped that they would be permitted to enter too.

Petro did some testing, but there are so much to be seen outside she did not stay long.....

The throne is vacant and ready for the next King.
Now this is life! A real live scene - much better than any newspaper.
Where in the world would you find a better throne.

Many animals large and small visiting the river are just a stone throw away. Not the least, some crocodiles too, which is apparently safe as long as the camp rules are followed. I wonder how they teach the crocodiles not to catch tourists ?!

Friday, May 18, 2007

crystals nature's jewels

Cystals are nature's jewels. Calcite is one of the most common minerals on the earth. The colour is vitreous, white or colourless and may occasionally show phosphorescens or fluorescens. With impurities it can be any colour of the rainbow including gray or black.
Clear Calcite crystals produce double refraction. The best known Calcite is Iceland spar a high quality transparent variety which is known for it's double refraction.

The Cerussite crystals are very pretty but also very brittle. Cerussite is known as white lead, it is a lead ore.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

These photos of Barite and Boltwoodite are to enjoy the wonderful mineral crystal gems from Namibia. This is not a blog with facts about minerals and crystals, you can find excellent information in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Like any hobby the collection of minerals can be divided into different topics, I prefer whatever is pretty to me.

Barite (Bariumsulfate) also spelled Baryte and known as Heavy Spar, contains the heavy mineral barium. It is ground up and used in ao. paint, but although it is a heavy mineral it is not considered poisonous due to it being extremely insoluble.

The radiating form of Barite (known as Bologna Stone) is much sought after. I did not expect the radiation to show up on a photo, but take a close look at the light yellow-green glow over the crystals. It is more obvious in the crystals to the top right on the photo.

Boltwoodite (Hydrated Potassium Uranyl Silicate Hydroxide - I looked it up. I do not care to remember all that). The bright yellow, prismatic crystals of boltwoodite can be seen on the photo left.

Keep in mind that Boltwoodite is radioctive.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Mineral crystals, gems from Namibia.
These photos are to enjoy the wonderful mineral gems from Namibia. This is not a blog with facts about minerals and crystals, you can find excellent information in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Like any hobby the collection of minerals can be divided into different topics such as country, sulfides, silicates amongst others as well as a collection of only large, or small crystals (the very small ones are often pure perfect crystals).
I prefer whatever is pretty to me.

The clean effect of the Aragonite crystals does not show well on a photo.

Nature went overboard creating blue in Azurite. Here are a few views. This mineral has been treasured from ancient times and probable even before that. I can imagine any human female would like these crystals, no matter how primitive her background is.

Azurite is a copper mineral which will weather into malachite. Azurite can be destroyed by heat into copper oxide a black powder. That will be a pity!