What: Faces of the Land
When: 14 March to 25 March 2018
11:00am to 4:00pm
Wednesday – Sunday
Opening night: 14 March 2018 – From 6:00pm
Where: Studio 541, 541 Mt Eden Road, Auckland
Join me from 6pm Wednesday 14th March for a drink or two, nibbles, photography, and hear me speak a few words about my images.
The Maasai are an ethnic group inhabiting southern Kenya and Tanzania. They live a traditional, semi-nomadic lifestyle surviving in deserts and scrublands and live almost entirely off the land. Due to their torrid land unable to accommodate crops they must survive on a diet of meat, blood and milk from animals and mielie porridge. Maasai have a fearsome reputation as warriors and cattle-rustlers. Sourcing water and food is a constant threat to their survival. Life for Maasai women in particular is very challenging as women must do all of the physical labour tasks including building and tearing down the houses often with babies strapped to their backs, fetching firewood and water for the entire village, along with the usual household duties of cooking, cleaning, and mothering. Men take care of the shepherding of the cattle and the killing of livestock for food.
Cari Hill spent two weeks living and volunteering with a Maasai village in Amboseli, Kenya, against the impressive backdrop of Mt Kilimanjaro, and a once-weekly six-hour round trip bus drive from the nearest shanty town. With no running water or electricity Cari lived as her hosts lived, carrying out the duties of the women and children and funding the creation of a rain water reservoir, among other initiatives.
The Maasai are an extremely proud race and it is this pride, stoicism, defiance, unique clothing style, sense of identity, and evidence of a hard life that make these portraits so powerful. Their faces give us a glimpse into the lives and personalities of those that survive in an unforgiving terrain and without any of the technology and comforts we take for granted.
To read about my very personal and non-sugar coated experience living with Maasai read my blog post 14 Days Living with Maasai