The Himba originate from the Nile region of Egypt. They are historically distant cousins of the Maasai. After a migration of several centuries, they arrived in Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia. The Himba form an ethnic group, which, like all the Hereros peoples, belongs to the Bantu language group.
In the middle of the nineteenth century, attacked and deprived of herds, they are obliged to retreat to Angola. In order to survive, they practice hunting and gathering, a rather humiliating occupation for a pastoral people. From this time they derive their name: "Himba" means "The beggars". The Himba are therefore none other than Hereros, refugees after being driven out of their territory.
In the 1920s, with the South African colonization, the Himba again crossed the Kunene River, hoping to regain their land. Little by little, they rebuilt and became, in the 1970s, the richest pastors of Africa. But again, it hardly lasts since, in 1980, a terrible drought and the war between the South African army and the "SWAPO" separatists caused their livestock to be decimated again.
The Himba currently number between ten thousand and fifteen thousand in Namibia. They live mainly from their livestock and live in encampments scattered throughout Kaokoland with their herds of cows and goats.