Heart Songs

In the Himba tribe of Africa, your age is not measured from the time of your birth, but instead from the moment that your mother first decided that she wanted to have a child. When she does, she will go out into the woods, sometimes alone or with close friends, and they pray and meditate until they “hear the song” of the child that she will bring into the world. This is known as one’s “Heart Song”.

Once she has learned the song, she teaches it to her husband, and while the child is being conceived, they sing the song. As the child grows in her womb, she sings the song to the child. The mother teaches the song to the midwives who will help with the birth, and when the child is born, they sing the song.

In the village, it is custom to learn everyone’s song. If the child falls and scrapes his knee, the women of the village sing his song to comfort him. When the child goes through puberty they have a ceremony, and they sing her song. When they marry, both husband and wife’s songs are sang at the wedding. For every special moment in their lives – their song is sang. Finally, as they are about to make their transition to the next life, the villagers gather around and sing their song for the last time.

What would your Heart Song sound like?

Leave a comment