Globally, Namibian weddings are reputed for being expensive rituals. Until the 1970s, the decision to marry was rarely tied to the economic background of groom, bride or kin groups. In Namibia today, it is believed that poor people are not fit to get married. This is owed to the fact that Namibian weddings are solely characterized with display of wealth, economic class, and social influence. However, contemporary Namibian weddings are performances of conspicuous consumption, raising signals of the distinctiveness of the middle and upper classes.
When it comes to showing off of latest fashion trend, Namibia is not a laggard. This is however, evident in the traditional wedding of the South African country as the event is always painted as colorful as you can ever imagine.
Namibian culture is greatly rich that the people of the country acquaint and bind themselves with the customs and traditions of the land. Although the country is multiculturally rich, but the traditional outfit for events like traditional wedding seem to be following same trend and style.
Herero dress is a traditional wedding dress embraced in Namibian, most especially the Herero women. Wearing this outfit is customary, as it relays the country’s turbulent past and history, when the Germans almost exterminated the entire tribe. The genocide nearly wiped out the once prosperous people of Namibia. This traditional dress has then become a continued protest against the Germans who massacred them, making it a subversion of their former rulers’ fashion.
The ‘Ohorokova’, the traditional Herero dress, is A-lined, with colorful, vibrant patterns and several petticoats. This creates a wide, structured skirt. The attire is topped off by a cow horn-shaped hat. The Herero people, who are historically cattle breeders, measure their wealth in cattle, and are paying homage to that part of their identity through this traditional fashion style at events.
The long dresses are custom made to match the wearer’s specification and taste. The ‘Ohorokova’ till today is not losing its fashion trend, irrespective of the importation of Western culture. With the successful thrive of Namibian fashion industry, there has been a modernized effect on the Herero traditional outfit, such that designers and models are so keeping up with the attire to stay woke to their heritage.
The Ohorokova is worn with a hat that mimics the horn of a cow, while the dress is a colorful attire creating a wide skirt filled with lots of layers.
However, another popular attire worn at Namibian traditional wedding is the Oshiwambo fabric. This is a beautiful clothing to grace special occasions, like traditional weddings with. This is an outfit characterized from a distinct material with pink, red and black stripes which forms part of the traditional attire of the Aawambo people. This dazzling and bold pink fabric is used to make a variety of modern dresses, skirts, shirts or trousers.
The pink color is primarily obtained from a pink powder dye. The powder is mixed with water and the fabric is then soaked into it to attain the pink color.
The fabric is commonly known as Odelela. Traditionally, there are three different stripe combinations that represent three different Aawambo tribes; the Kwanyama, Ndonga and Ngandjera. Interestingly, it certainly does take some time to get these dresses to their exquisite state.
In this gorgeous attire, wedding dresses and shirts are flattered with a matching head wrap, beaded necklace made from mussels and with a black or white pair of Tommy tekkies or Veld skoene.
For the groom or man, as the case may be, trousers and shirts are also complimented with a pair of veld skoene. So, in a bid to deck real good for great fashion statement at the traditional wedding, it is preferable to rock your choice to look exquisite and dapper.