255 page large hard cover in good used condition. Dust cover in good condition.
Harvill 1994 First Edition
In the arid, rugged terrain of northern Kenya, virtually isolated from civilization, lives one of the last surviving warrior peoples of Africa, the Samburu. Renowned for their exceptional physical beauty and grace as well as for their independence and pride, the seminomadic Samburu live as they have for centuries, herding cattle and maintaining an intricate social system shaped over time by strongly held beliefs, intertribal rivalry, and the never-ending search for pastures and water.
Thomasin Magor, who lived among the Samburu for six years and built up a strong bond of trust with them, has created one of the most intimate portraits of an African people ever attempted. In recognition of her independence – her Samburu name is Sala, meaning “she who walks alone” – she gained the acceptance of the men and took part in councils and ceremonies that would normally be barred to a woman; and by reason of her gender she was permitted by the women to witness a number of important rites at which men are not allowed. Her book is, remarkable not only for its evocative images of the lives of Imurran (the warrior herdsmen), women, children, and elders – and their rituals, hairstyles, body-painting, dances, and feast days – but also for its cohesive picture of a culture.
At the heart of the book is an extraordinary sequence of photographs of the most important of all Samburu rituals – E-muratare, or days of circumcision. At this ceremony, which takes place approximately once every fourteen years, the new generation of Imurran is initiated into warriorhood as the former warriors move on to junior elderhood and marriage. Thomasin Magor witnessed the 1990 circumcision ceremonies and the changeover and renewal of roles at all levels of Samburu society. In her telling photographs we see boys becoming warriors, warriors becoming elders, girls becoming wives, and mothers lamenting the passing of their sons’ time of warriorhood.
With more than 200 color photographs and a direct, informative text, African Warriors is an eloquent tribute to a proud people, and an unprecedented insight into a unique way of life.