20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Mwila Woman

The Mwila people are semi-nomadic people in the Southern Angola area who engage in subsistence agriculture and some form of livestock keeping. They grow mostly maize and  as well as other staples and keep animals such as fowls, goat and cattle. Womens’ hairstyles are very important and meaningful in Mwila culture. They coat their hair with a red paste called, oncula, which is made of crushed red stone and put a mix of oil, crushed tree bark, dried cow dung and herbs on their hair.They also decorate their elaborate hairstyles with beads, cauri shells, buttons and metal objects. They also wear heavy thick necklaces of beads as part of their day to day dress.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 06.2022
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: Angola
Camera: ILCE-7RM4
Copyright: © Beverly Houwing