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 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.
Another Africa feels privileged to showcase work as magnificent as this. It really goes to show that there is another Africa, and we have simply been missing dedicated platform(s) to showcase all of the majesty that exists in this vast continent, so far, deep and wide. Certainly that is our hope, that we could provide you our readers, one such platform.
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
Learn more about the Samburu people here.
All images courtesy of Lyle Owerko.
Where is the Mount Kenya, Rift Valley Province in Kenya?