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The Himba Women

The Himba Women

Omumbiri Harvesters
Kavevarekua Tjivinda & Kambepa Tlivinda
From the Kunene Region of Namibia

“We became resin harvesters by becoming members of the conservancy. We all signed up and then we were trained in methods of harvesting responsibly. Before harvest season, we meet to discuss any new rules or issues.

Many of us trek together in small groups to the tops of hills and high areas, to harvest the Omumbiri resin, which is a beautiful perfume that we’ve always used in our tradition. We pick it as it oozes from the bark of the Omumbiri tree. We each collect about 1 kg a day – or sometimes more, if it is very dry and hot.

We camp together for a few days and then bring home what we’ve harvested. The harvest season always comes at a time of the year when we need money the most.

Most months of the year, we drink milk and eat meat – when the grass is green. But during the dry months, from September, before the rains start, there is little milk and we then need money to buy maize meal. So harvest season comes as a blessing. There are about 500 – 600 of us who are doing this work, and the money helps pay for school fees and buy food and medical help, if we need it.

Terres d’Afrique is committed to ethical fair trade sourcing and our wild harvesting uses methods that will not lead to a decline of ecosystems.”