In Himba culture, the hairstyle and jewelry conveys age and social status. This OvaHimba woman is wearing a headpiece known as an Erembe made from sheepskin. It signifies that she has been married for about a year or has had a child - the latter case being more appropriate here. It is normal for women to be topless and is not considered indecent.
One of the more immediately noticeable distinguishing traits of the Himba is the reddish tinge in skin color. They've become famous for covering themselves in otjize. Otjize is a mixture of butterfat and ochre pigment. It's used in place of traditional bathing due to the scarcity of water and also to protect themselves from the harsh hot and dry climate they live in.
In addition to its practical use, otjize is also considered highly desirable cosmetically by Himba beauty standards. It symbolizes the Earth's rich red color and blood the essence of life. The paste, often perfumed, is also used by the Himba in their hair which gives it a uniquely textured look.
An older Himba woman smiles with a quiet grace that conveys the slow pace of life.