Elegant tribeswoman goes shopping
These striking images show an elegant African tribeswoman in traditional dress and mud for sunscreen – checking out deals on washing powder.
The woman, from the Himba tribe in Opuwo, Namibia, popped into her local grocery store to pick up a few of life’s essentials.
Himba tribespeople lead a very traditional lifestyle, and so the photos reveal the very pervasive nature of globalisation.
The lady, thought to be in her early twenties, was pictured by Swedish wildlife and documentary photographer Bjorn Persson.
The 44-year-old said: “The lady took me completely by surprise, as I was just doing my grocery shopping in a local supermarket while filming a documentary about the Himba tribe.
“She did not notice me at first, but after a while she realised what I was doing.
“The Himba women always dress like that, no matter if they are at home in their village or visiting the big, modern cities.
“It’s for their own beauty and tradition. They don’t just dress up for tourists as some other tribes do.
“The hair and whole body is covered with a certain kind of mud to protect them from the sun, and the clothes are mostly made of goat skin.”
Despite the striking contrast the images give, local shoppers did not pay any special attention to the Himba woman.
For the other villagers, the tribeswomen’s appearance at the store is not unusual.
Bjorn said: “They are used to it in that village, and so people did not stare.
“She was just buying flour, sugar and washing powder.
“But I felt fascinated, confused, happy and sad all at the same time.
“The photos are a stark representation of the old world and traditions clashing with the new.
“For me, they are provocative and raise many questions.”