Project Description

Running Repairs – sculpture of Samburu tribesmen

This piece depicts two men of the Samburu tribe of the North west frontier of Kenya. The scene depicts an elder (laibon) removing a thorn from the foot of a warrior (Imurran). The container is a calabash (nkarau) in which these people carry their milk and blood mixture which constitutes their staple diet. The mixture is sometimes cooked but is usually consumed in the raw state. Their footwear is made from automobile tyres and with much use the soles wear thin and the hard African thorn is able to penetrate the worn rubber sole. The scene is not an unusual sight anywhere in Africa. The warriors spear is covered along the sharp edge with animal hide to protect the edge. Each man is carrying sword in a scabbard at the waist this sword is called a lalema. The walking stick (rungu) laid across the nkarau is often carried by all age groups of males of the tribe even the very young male child will have one of these. These people are adorned in ochre and beaded jewelry. Their traditions are strictly adhered to. Long may these colorful people survive the invasion by missionaries and the lure of towns and cities.