The Butterfly People

The Samburu, Courtesy of Lyle Owerko

© Lyle Owerko. The Samburu. Courtesy of the artist.

And on the seventh day, God created a Hasselblad and he rested because it was good. No seriously, that is not the case, but if there was one singular genius piece of modernity it would be a Hasselblad and the talented people who are able to master this wonder to document the world we live in.

Lyle Owerko is one of these individuals, and Hasselblad duly noted his talents this past January 2010 by awarding him Hasselbad Master 2009 in the category of up-and-coming artist. A coveted title given to those who show exceptional mastery and photographic ability in the areas of creativity, composition, conceptual strength and technical skills. Owerko won this title for his work entitled The Samburu.

The Sambura, Courtesy of Lyle Owerko

 

The Samburu is a photographic series on the Samburu people, referred to locally as the Butterly People. They live in the foothills of Mount Kenya in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. The Samburu are a semi-nomadic pastoral people, distant cousins to the Maasai, who up until about ten years ago had little contact with the outside world. Owerko writes, they are easily one of the most fascinating groups of people I’ve ever encountered, the Samburu are a prideful people who consult the stars for spiritual guidance, all the while maintaining a warrior culture that is equal parts fierce and gentle.”

These images are majestic and powerful. The people exude a beauty that despite the plethora of fashion magazines and creative work I see, little can compare to the breathtaking style, dignity and aesthetics of the Samburu.

The Samburu, Courtesy of Lyle Owerko

The Samburu, Courtesy of Lyle Owerko

The Sambura, Courtesy of Lyle Owerko

The Samburu, Courtesy of Lyle Owerko

The Samburu, Courtesy of Lyle Owerko

The Samburu, Courtesy of Lyle Owerko

 

 

 

About

Born 1968, Canada. Lyle Owerko is a Photojournalist and Commercial Photographer based in New York City. He travels the world shooting for many NGO’s and human rights groups. His work has appeared in TIME Magazine, Newsweek, Stern, Tokion, Nylon, Planet Magazine, Hot Rod and Import Tuner as well as many other news and features publications. His work is available through Eckhart Gallery in The Netherlands for the European market and Click Gallery, New York for the USA.

Learn more about the Samburu people here.

All images courtesy of Lyle Owerko.

Where is the Mount Kenya, Rift Valley Province in Kenya?

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