Indigenous tribe where women offer sex to visitors and bathing is forbidden

An indigenous tribe that has outlawed bathing as a "forbidden" act sees its female members offer sex to visitors.

The Himba tribe lives on with an estimated population of around 50,000 in Namibia.

Gathering resources like food and water, building homes for tribespeople and tending to crops is all part of life in the tribe, which has a few unique rules. Bathing is "forbidden", and instead is replaced by "smoke baths".

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Visitors to the tribe may find themselves propositioned by some of the women, at the insistence of their husbands. The husband sleeps outside in a ritual designated to the removal of jealousy.

Predominantly made up of livestock farmers, the tribe has survived through friendly relations with visitors and a self-reliance on everything from food to religion and culture. Himba members worship the Namibian God, Mukuru.

Their belief in Mukuru lends itself to the belief in a cult of dead ancestors, a role taken up after death where formerly living tribespeople lend themselves to messenger roles. According to Mukuru worship, the dead pass messages between God and the living.

Most of the cultural aspects of the tribe survive, including the strange ruling over bathing. Instead, a smoke cloud is formed and a series of aromatic resins and butter are applied. The strange bath time mixture is thought to fend off insects.

Buttered women are not the only strange aspect of the tribe, which goes to some lengths in removing jealousy from its male leaders. Women are given little say over what happens in day to day activities, with their husbands volunteering them to visitors.

Africa Scope reports: "When a visitor comes knocking, a man shows his approval and pleasure of seeing his guest by giving him the Okujepisa Omukazendu treatment, which is that the wife is given to his guest to spend the night with, while the husband sleeps in another room. In a case where there is no available room, her husband will sleep outside."

Several women are often married off to one man, with the polygamous group keen to share with those stumbling onto the tribe. It appears they are peaceful and open to visitors.

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