DER Documentary

The Ovahimba Years:
A Multidisciplinary Ethnographic Study

The Ovahimba Years Project

by Rina Sherman
color, 2 hrs 36mins, 1997-2008
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From 1997 to 2004 Rina Sherman lived with the Tjambiru family at their homestead located on oHere hill in the outskirts of Etanga, a village in the north-western Kunene region of Namibia.

During her stay in the field, she documented the lives of the members of the family, their relatives and friends. Over a period of seven years, she established an extensive record of their everyday and ritual lives in text, sound, video and photography.

In 2003, Rina Sherman extended her research to the south-western provinces of Cunene and Namibe in Angola where she documented the lives of the Otjiherero speaking peoples, the Ovahakaona, Ovadhimba, Ovagambwe, Ovakuvale, Ovatwa...

Rina Sherman is currently processing the data collected during this period. She is editing a series of films, establishing a catalogue of photographs and sound recordings, and writing up the years of journals kept in the field.

Visit the project's website:

Related Resources
The Ovahimba Years: A Multiple Media Ethnographic Study & Cultural Heritage Preservation Program (PDF)
Exhibit Review: Rina Sherman and the Ovahimba, Anthropology News
Article: Documentary Photography - Namibia's Cattle Farmers / Rina Sherman, Edge of Humanity Magazine
Exhibit: The Ovahimba from Namibia and Angola Rina Sherman: Seven Years of Life Together, ICI Venice

Films from the The Ovahimba Years Project:
Keep the Dance Alive
Shake Your Brains
When Visitors Come

Catalog of New Films DER new films catalog cover
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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts