Thursday, 26 June 2008

Lyle Owerko: The Samburu

Photographs © Lyle Owerko-All Rights Reserved

Raised in Canada, Lyle Owerko is a photographer, a film maker and, in my opinion, a first class ethnographer. His current projects seek to bridge ethnic borders by documenting cultural groups, such as the Samburu, for the improvement of the human condition.

According to Wikipedia, the Samburu are ethnically related to the Maasai. The name 'Samburu' is also of Maasai origin and is derived from the word 'Samburr' which is a leather bag used by the Samburu to carry a variety of things. The Samburu practice polygynous marriage, and a man may have multiple wives. A Samburu settlement is known as a nkang or manyatta. Each woman in the household has her own house, which she builds out of local materials, such as sticks, mud and cow dung.

From Lyle's website, you'll find that he was the photographer whose image of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 was published by the Time magazine on its cover, but it's his ethnographic work that caught my attention, and which brings him to The Travel Photographer blog.