Published titles > Photography > Conflict and Costume
Conflict and Costume cover image
UK £30.00
US $50.00
CAN $55.00
Hardback with jacket
108 pages
75 illustrations, 70 in colour, 1 map
29 x 25 cm (11.5 x 9.75 in)
ISBN: 978-1-8589-4600-9
Conflict and Costume
The Herero Tribe of Namibia

Jim Naughten

Introduction by Lutz Marten

The magnificent costume of the Herero of Namibia, southern Africa, is a stark reminder of the country’s tumultuous past. In the late 19th century, the influence of missionaries and traders in German Southwest Africa led to the adoption by the Herero of the European dress of the day. Over time, the voluminous gowns, completed by a cattle-horn-shaped headdress, came to represent the cultural identity of the Herero women. The men’s ceremonial dress also harks back to colonial times: following the brutal war of 1904, the Herero adapted the uniforms of German soldiers for their own Otruppe (‘troops’) movement. In Conflict and Costume, the acclaimed photographer Jim Naughten captures the colourful Herero attire in a series of spectacular portraits. Set against the Namibian landscape, these dramatic images show the striking costumes and their proud owners to full effect: men in elaborate, home-made paramilitary uniforms, and women in floor-length frocks with matching horns. Dr Lutz Marten contributes an insightful text that places the dress in its historical context.


Presents more than 70 vibrant portraits of Herero people in traditional Victorian-style and paramilitary costume

With an introduction on the history of the Herero since the 19th century and the origins of their dress

Will appeal to anyone interested in costume history, African culture and photography

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Author Profiles

Dr Lutz Marten is Professor of General and African Linguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Jim Naughten is an award-winning portrait photographer based in London. He has exhibited his work internationally, and his book Re-enactors was published in 2009.

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[Naughten's] ethereal portraits present pride, strength and a wonderfully unique sense of fashion

Huffington Post

Amazing … Words won't do this book justice: you have to see it for yourself

Sir Paul Smith

The portraits exude strength and regality, which is only intensified by their unique costume and stark background

Black Box Blog

Celebrates not only a way of dress but more importantly, the survival of a culture and sense of identity

Monsters & Critics

Naughten's portraits are as majestic as the people he photographs, imparting a feeling of beauty and power that many in the West rarely consider when they think of Africa today

Le Journal de la Photographie

Merrell did an incredible job: lovers of history, art, culture and costume will love this book, but then so would anyone with an eye for gorgeous photography


Arresting photographs

New York Journal of Books
Feature: The Independent

Click here for an article in The Independent, 11 February 2013

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