Jim Naughten

Winning bodies of work

The Herero tribes clothing reveal a moment frozen in time, when two distinct cultures met at the turn of the last century ; The Herero people and The German colonisers. The Europeans’ Victorian era dresses were quickly adopted and then modified ( African colour and ‘cow horn’ headdresses added ) to become the distinct outfits we see today. During the brutal war that followed ( in which 80 % of the Herero were killed ), German uniforms were taken from dead soldiers to ‘absorb’ their spirit. The custom of wearing makeshift German military uniforms continues to this day, although now the Herero military marches to honour their fallen ancestors. The costumes of both men and women have become powerful cultural symbols of defiance and survival. There is no mistaking a Herero tribes person.