The Hakaona tribe of Angola live in the wooded savannah and rocky hills in the outskirts of Oncocua town, near the Cunene River. They are mainly goat herders, their heads of cattle being a marker of social status. They are known as the Black Himba and they often take care of the Himba’s herds as a sign of social submission.
Hakaona men are reputable traditional doctors, and women are valued as excellent artisans, both considered activities of less social importance than herding. They also grow and farm rain-fed crops such as maize and millet. Hakaona people live under a clan-based tribal structure led by the eldest male.
The women wear a striking headdress called 'kapapo' made of manure, fat and herbs. A common practice among Hakaona women is the removal of some lower teeth, for beautifying purposes.
They are one of the few tribes that continue to make cowhide baby carriers, which they decorate with colored beads. Hakaona women also make their own dolls out of wood and hair -both natural or artificial-.
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Hakaona architecture is similar to that of its neighbors, the Dimba: rectangular wooden houses, with thatched roofs, in which the hinged door stands out, which they hold with a stick. The houses, barns and stables are protected by a large wooden fence with an entrance and an exit door.
Discover the tribes of Angola with the book 'Last Tribes of Angola'
If you want to know more about the tribes of Angola, you have the book 'Last tribes of Angola' available for sale, the result of the joint work of the anthropologist Joan Riera and the ethno-photographer Aníbal Bueno. Written in both English and Spanish (bilingual edition), and enriched with a wealth of photographs, illustrations, and maps, the book is a unique visual guide to the most remote tribes of southwestern Angola. Click here if you are interested in buying it.