The Himba wear little clothing, but the women are famous for covering themselves with otjize, a mixture of butter fat and ochre. The mixture gives their skins a reddish tinge. This symbolizes earth’s rich red color and the blood that symbolizes life, and is consistent with the Himba ideal of beauty.
It also protects their skin from the harsh sun.
It’s also to keep them clean because they live in parts where water is scarce and drinking > bathing. As the otjize flakes off, dirt and dead skin go with it.
The Himba also use it to style their hair, and different headwear is worn during different stages of a female’s life to symbolize her becoming a woman.