Motherhood comes in all forms and shapes, the relationship between a mother and her child is one of the purest and most precious bonds in the world. Many traditions of the world, including the culture of the Himba Tribe, place a mother on the highest pedestal of respect and reverence due to the sacrifices she has to make for her child. Different traditions worldwide have other ideas and beliefs about when a mother’s relationship starts with her child.
The Himba tribe, an indigenous tribe of people living in Namibia, have a fascinating yet pure belief regarding the relationships between a mother and her child. As per the culture, the people of the Himba Tribe count their age from the moment the idea of their existence struck the minds of their mothers.
In most of the world, people, parents and families consider a child’s age from birth. Some cultures take it further to account for emotions and count a child’s age from conception. However, the Himba Tribe considers a child’s age from when the child was a thought in his mother’s mind. The tradition of the Namibian tribe puts a lot of focus on the spiritual aspect of motherhood.
According to tradition, when a woman of the tribe desires to have a baby, she goes far from the village and sits under a tree by herself. Through this exercise, the mother gets a chance to contemplate. She solidifies her decision to have the child. As a part of the exercise, the mother has to keep silent until she can hear the “birth song “or the “song of the child. “
After hearing the melody, she returns to her village to physically conceive the baby. Meanwhile, the belief of the tribe suggests that her child is already a reality in her mind. When the woman is ready to give birth, a group of older women accompany her outside the village. These experienced women of the area assist the mother during labour.
Further, after the child’s birth, the mother and child spend a week inside a special shelter used solely for the occasion. The tribe builds this special place to the side of the headman’s hut, near the sacred fire. The people of the tribe believe that the place where the mother and child spebd under the special protection of the ancestral spirits.