If you have ever wondered what the beauty standards are to which Western women are being held, then you might also have to spare a thought for the Mwila tribesmen in Angola.
One of the most striking of all Angola remote tribes, the Mwila people are known for their elaborate dresses, jewelry and hairstyles.
Adult women are expected to style their hair with a mixture of oil, crushed tree bark, butter, dried cow dung and herbs to form it into thick dreadlocks that are then dyed with oncula, a kind of broken stone.
These dreads are then embellished with shells, beads and sometimes dried food to make them even more elaborate and striking.
The Mwila tribe lives in the sparsely populated Huila province of South Angola and is known for their extensive clothing styles, their hair decoration and necklaces.
Women use a mixture of oil, crushed tree bark, butter, dried cow dung and herbs to turn their hair into thick dreadlocks, usually between four and six, although there may be more
Adult women also wear large necklaces that initially seem to be made of beaded cord but actually large collars are made of mud with beads embedded in them
The Mwila are also known for their dresses with loud colors and striking patterns. They are either tied around the waist or around the shoulders
Although the Mwila fashions are meant to stand out, they also serve important symbolic purposes, indicating the difference between girls and women
The women are also expected to wear huge chains made of a mixture of mud and beads that they hold at all times, even while sleeping.
Although Mwila styles are designed to fall, clothing codes also act as important symbols that tell viewers about women and their lives.
The number of braids in their hair – usually between four and six – indicates whether they are adults, but three braids indicate that their families have died.
Necklaces are also used as a means of proving sexual maturity, with young women wearing smaller chains, usually of red or yellow.
As they get older, more colored bands with beads are added that indicate different stages of life.
Specialist tour operator and photographer Evi Arbay took a group of Indonesian tourists on a tour through Namibia and Angola when she captured the photos of the Mwila tribe.
While young girls often wear small chains in red and yellow, older women add stripes of different colors, indicating different stages in their lives that they have gone through
Mwila hairstyles also represent important parts of a woman's life. Girls and women wear between four and six braids, depending on their age, but three braids mean that there is a death in the family
The Mwila population is semi-nomadic, which means that they build houses, grow crops and keep animals, but often look for better grazing or hunting
Because it takes so long to make necklaces and hairstyles, women always wear them – even while sleeping. Special headrests are often used to prevent damage to the hair
Evi Arbay, a specialized tour operator and photographer, captured these images while touring a group of Indonesian tourists in the southern province of Huila, in Angola
The 38-year-old met the tribes women in the province of Huila in South Angola.
Mrs. Arbay, from Jakarta, Indonesia, said: & During the tours we love to meet special people wherever we go and this meeting with the Mumuila people was something special.
& # 39; The women we met are strong and hard-working, in some places I saw that they worked harder than the men.
& # 39; The colors in their hair, their necklaces and the unique way they dress is how they keep their tradition alive.
& # 39; They coat their hair with a red paste called oncula, which is made from crushed red stone and also a mix of oil, crushed tree bark, dried cow dung and herbs on their hair.
& # 39; Mumuhuila women are also famous for their mud collars, which are important because each period in their life corresponds to a specific color of a necklace. & # 39;
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