"Pour survivre, les Himbas doivent avoir les pieds enracinés dans leurs traditions et les voix qui portent jusqu’aux grands pays au-delà de la grande mer..."

Kovahimba, l'association ayant pour but d'aider les Himbas, peuple nomade de Namibie
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THE HIMBAS ARE SHOOTING!
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"Bare Feet on Red Earth" (Robert Laffont publication)

Solenn Bardet’s story on her experience with the Himbas

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Published for the first time in 1998, "Bare Feet on Red Earth" is the reference book on the Himbas.

It was published again in late 2008, prefaced by Philippe Bossière, the Ambassador of France in Windhoek (until December 2008) and with a postface by Solenn Bardet, in which she puts in perspective the future of the ochre people :

"When a culture disappears, humanity gets poorer, she insists ".

 

Summary

"I know nothing of Kaokoland, even less of the people who live there. I only know that some men and women are painted in red from top to toe up-there, in the desert. No fear, no apprehension. I left to go all the way."

In 1993, Solenn Bardet, a young geography student, was just eighteen years old when she arrived on the land of the Himbas. She spent there six months a year, during three years, until 1996. She was even « adopted » in accordance with their rites and introduced to the ancestors. This fascinating people taught her its traditions and knowledge, broadening her sensitivity and vision of the world. 

Solenn Bardet fought alongside the Himbas, in Namibia and in Europe, to oppose a dam project that threatened their territory. She focused her Master’s degree dissertation on the consequences of the Epupa dam on the Himba society.
 

Bare Feet on Red Earth (Robert Laffont Publications, 1998-2008).

 

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