Having been colonized by the Germans, Namibia maintains a deep cultural German taste through fashion. In particular, Herrero women maintain a deep German fashion statement blended into the Namibian fashion culture.
The Herero dress is a reminder for the Herero natives about the genocide their people went through in 1900 under German rulers where over 100,000 people were killed. Essentially, the dress has a brand-like horned headscarf (otjikaiva) made from the same fabric of the dress.
The horned design represents Herero’s cattle which was a measure of wealth. For young girls, wearing the Herero dress is considered a rite of passage overseen by a matriarch who guides them on how to wear it and how to carry themselves whenever they are wearing it.
The dress’ significance is very important so is the horned headscarf whose significance binds Herero women to the rules of the community such as handling milk, etiquette and feeding habits on beef; which parts a woman is not allowed to touch or eat in a cow.