Loading

Maasai neckpieces

There are three hung together here. Maasai (and the related Fulani) women wear them in multiples, sometimes piled up to their chins. When they dance they lift their shoulders up to make the stiff beaded necklaces bounce up and down. The strings of beads in the middle are about three feet (.91m) long.

Bought in Kenya from Maasai ladies sitting on a sidewalik near City Market. Nairobi, 1989. I had assumed they would be open to price negotiation like the other market ladies. I was mistaken. Thoroughly humbled, I bought several ornaments from the ladies. The prices were more than fair, considering they made everything themselves and traveled from the Maasai Mara into the city.

I went to Kenya twice. Once in 1987, again in 1989. During the first trip, I also went to Senegal - which felt oddly familiar to me. The people were entirely unlike the very quiet and modest Kenyans. When I got home, I thought about it a lot and I think I solved the puzzle: the people were amazingly like Black Americans that I've known. Extraverted personalities, flamboyant and imaculate dress, the confident way they carried themselves, their humor, loud voices, even their perfume. This made sense, considering Black Americans were originally West Aficans.

It was my goal to return to Senegal again, but life (and finances) got in the way and I was never able to. Now, I visit both countries often on Google Street View. ;-)
Visible by: Everyone
(more information)

More information

Visible by: Everyone

All rights reserved

Report this photo as inappropriate

14 comments

Anton Cruz Carro said:

A complement without which a Masai could not be identified. Your story is very interesting. Warm greetings, Anton,.
4 weeks ago

Diane Putnam replied to Anton Cruz Carro:

Thank you, Anton!
2 weeks ago

William Sutherland said:

Excellent capture!
4 weeks ago ( translate )

Diane Putnam replied to William Sutherland:

Many thanks, Don.
2 weeks ago

Keith Burton said:

These look really beautiful............so colourful and wonderfully detailed. It's obvious a lot of work has gone into making them.

They look lovely hanging on the texured wall Diane.

A fascinating narrative as well............thanks for sharing!
4 weeks ago

Diane Putnam replied to Keith Burton:

Keith, thank you kindly!
2 weeks ago

Don Sutherland said:

Gorgeous capture.
4 weeks ago ( translate )

Diane Putnam replied to Don Sutherland:

Many thanks, Don!
2 weeks ago

Peggy C said:

A photographer friend I meet on Fl ---r years ago has been to Uganda several times

He is on FB - name is Richard Nesbit and his daily photos are magnificent.

Check him out .. he is a very talented good guy.
4 weeks ago

Diane Putnam replied to Peggy C:

Thanks, Peggy, I'll check him out!
2 weeks ago

Jean Paul Capdeville said:

Merci Diane pour ces explications extrêmement intéressantes
3 weeks ago ( translate )

Diane Putnam replied to Jean Paul Capdeville:

Merci, Jean Paul - I'm glad you like my "story"! Ahhh, the good old days...
2 weeks ago

polytropos said:

Wow, that's a lot of work! .... And a heavy weight at the neck!
6 days ago

Peter Heijst said:

Great, Diane Beautiful!
5 days ago ( translate )