Mwila tribe girl with necklace, Angola

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    Mwila (or Mwela, Mumuhuila, or Muhuila) women are famous for their very special hairstyles. Hairstyles are very important and meaningful in Mwila culture. Women coat their hair with a red paste called, oncula, which is made of crushed red stone. They also put a mix of oil, crushed tree bark, dried cow dung and herbs on their hair. Besides they decorate their hairstyle with beads, cauri shells (real or plastic ones) and even dried food. Shaving the forehead is considered as a sign of beauty. The plaits, which look like dreadlocks, are called nontombi and have a precise meaning. Women or girls usually have 4 or 6 nontombi, but when they only have 3 it means that someone died in their family. Mwila Women are also famous for their necklaces, which are central and meaningful as for each period of their life corresponds a specific type of necklace. Young girls wear necklaces, heavy red made with beads covered with a mix of soil land latex. Later girls wear yellow necklaces called, Vikeka, made with wicker covered with earth. They keep until their wedding which can last 4 years. When married they start to wear a set of stacked up bead necklaces, called Vilanda. Women never take their necklace off and have to sleep with it. They also use headrests to protect their hairstyles. However, more and more men and women dress in a western way, because people make fun of them when they go to markets. Women sometimes walk 50 kilometers to sell goods in Huila market. Mwila rarely eat meat, they rather eat porridge, corn, chicken, honey and milk. They kill their cattle only on special occasions. Mwila are not allowed to mention people’s name in public.

    © Eric Lafforgue
    www.ericlafforgue.com

    Franz Tagore - Petrolina - PE - Brasil, and 68 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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    1. Georgie Sharp 44 months ago | reply

      Very beautiful

    2. Zombie37 44 months ago | reply

      Your photos and stories never cease to amaze me. Thanks always.

    3. Zombie37 44 months ago | reply

      Oh! and I would love it if you could add your photos to Flickr's MAP, so I and others could see the geographical sources of your wonderful travels. They've made it easier to see and to use, you can type in a place name in the upper right and then narrow it down to an area.

    4. LuAnn Hunt 44 months ago | reply

      A stunning portrait. I put lots of goo in my hair but it's pretty colorless and smells kinda good. Definitely not as bold and aromatic as what this young lady is wearing. :-)

    5. Eric Lafforgue 44 months ago | reply

      thanks!
      @zombie: it will be done!
      @goethaissteven: in which place do you go?
      @asiam: sudan is in my plans too!

    6. Steven Goethals 44 months ago | reply

      Eric,
      About 10-11 days in the Omo valley ( most likely Konso, Tsemay, Arbore, Hamar, Karo and Dassanech) and also on the way to the south ( Wolayta, Dorze and maybe Borana). And about 6-7 days in the north.

    7. Thomas Lusser 44 months ago | reply

      Amazing work Eric!

    8. ichauvel 44 months ago | reply

      quel regard!!!!Vu dans "Portraits du monde
      Japon

    9. edithbruck 44 months ago | reply

      Invitada a/Invited to FOLCKLORE

    10. Luces & Sombras [deleted] 44 months ago | reply

      Preciosa la foto !!!

    11. edithbruck 44 months ago | reply

      Gracias por compartirla/Thanks for sharing FOLCKLORE

    12. Ignazio Corda 44 months ago | reply

      -Wonderful!
      Your work was seen in:
      comment code by Adriënne, on Flickr
      Ümit ♡ Hope ♡ Esperança

      Obrigado ○ Thank you for posting!
      1 post 2 comments please!
      -------------------------------------

    13. GILVANDRO GURGEL "Vera re te" 44 months ago | reply

      -Wonderful!
      Your work was seen in:
      comment code by Adriënne, on Flickr
      Ümit ♡ Hope ♡ Esperança

      Obrigado ○ Thank you for posting!
      1 post 2 comments please!
      -------------------------------------

    14. setrof.alf 44 months ago | reply

      Gracias por compartirla/Thanks for sharing FOLCKLORE

    15. Casadepetra 44 months ago | reply

      hermosa y sexy mujer!

    16. Antonio-Correia 44 months ago | reply

      What strikes me is the way you overcame the harsh light with the use of flash.
      Well done :)

    17. TooLoose-LeTrek 31 months ago | reply

      Stunning image.

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