Ms. Weitzman’s Samburu Journal

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In the fall of 2013, I travelled to the remote Samburu wilderness region of northern Kenya.

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Being in the presence of the noble elephants and nobel Samburu was memorable beyond words.

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The ‘manyata’, or ‘homestead’, pictured below, is the dwelling structure and community which I visited in Samburu, Kenya, thanks to the warm hospitality of the local villagers.

Above, in the land rover mirror, a photo of PFA’s dear friend James, a Samburu tribesman.

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Sometimes, there are communal gathering areas around the boma, where children can play and women can bead and sew in a shade when the sun gets to harsh or when there is an unexpected shower of warm rain. The ‘thorn tree bush’ pictured above, is indigenous to this Samburu region as is the acacia tree which is scattered across the vast open plains of the savannah.

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manyata

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Each individual home, or ‘boma’, is an oblong structure made of sticks and branches fortified by red clay plaster and often covered in simple cardboard roofs and other such recycled materials.

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I visited with several of the women and we also got to visit inside their boma, their dwellings.

Sometimes, there are communal gathering areas, where children can play and women can bead and sew in a shade when the sun gets to harsh or when there is a shower of rain.

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This Samburu lady elder picture above, oversees many young women in the Nandiga Village. She is so regal and so warm and hospitable and made me feel completely at home in her manyata.

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The meticulous detail with which the young Samburu women – such as the one pictured here above – craft their jewelry is really fascinating to observe. They have such an acute sense of aesthetics and artistry and the colors they select are always so vivid and vibrant.

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The skies at night are frescos and paintings: Such a tapestry of rich colors in different shades and hues which are all the more lucid and perspicacious because of the clean and pure air. There is such an unspeakable sense of peace at dusk when all becomes respectfully quite and serene.