WARRIOR STUDIES: RENDILLE & SAMBURU

Drew photographs the warriors of these two distinctly-preserved Kenyan tribes


 

These images focus on the physicality of the male warriors in the remote Rendille & Samburu tribes in Northern Kenya. Their toned physiques and carefully-selected ornamentation are enduring reflections of a dedication to the tradition and rite of passage of warriorhood despite modernization in other parts of their lives.

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The ancient TRADITION of the singing wells

 


 

Often there is no rain, so the Samburu people have figured out a way to dig for water for their livestock in the dry riverbed. Once they’ve accessed the water, they sing a song only recognizable to their livestock, who miraculously come to the well belonging to their owner to quench their thirst. (Film coming soon)

“SELF-EXPRESSION, DESPITE LACK OF RESOURCES, IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PARTS OF CULTURE HERE.”

Drew Doggett

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    The Life of a Warrior in Rendille & Samburu Culture

     


     

    During the ilbaro, or traditional warrior’s dance, the desert came alive with the sounds of the warriors chanting, the thuds of their feet against the dry ground, and their jewelry shifting with their body’s movements.

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    The Life of a Warrior in Rendille & Samburu Culture

     


     

    Villages in Rendille and Samburu communities, often called manyattas, are designed to be easily packed up and moved at a moment’s notice.

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    The Life of a Warrior in Rendille & Samburu Culture

     


     

    Homes as well as the fences that protect the people and animals are created with easily accessible materials found in the area like thorny bushes and dried animal hides.

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    The Life of a Warrior in Rendille & Samburu Culture

     


     

    The Rendille and Samburu’s livestock are well-trained. Here, camels descend onto the salt flats in a hierarchical line; the alpha male always goes first, leading the way.

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    The Life of a Warrior in Rendille & Samburu Culture

     


     

    Here, Arteti carries a spear or torr in Rendille, as well as a knife or birlab at his hip. The warriors bear a ton of responsibilities and are prepared for any sort of danger that may harm them, their families, or their animals.

ARTIST STATEMENT

In Homes

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