By Victoria Rovine
University of Florida (formerly University of Iowa)

Maasai peoples, Kenya, two warriors (faces obscured by request). Photo by Donna K. Pido.

In many parts of eastern Africa, where cattle herding rather than agriculture is the focus of traditional life, people adapt to the needs of their cattle by leading nomadic lives. Because they are constantly moving, large sculpture and masks would be impractical avenues for artistic expression. Instead, the Maasai, Turkana and other nomadic east African groups locus a great deal of aesthetic energy on portable objects, such as containers and headrests, and on personal adornment. Here, two young Maasai men wear the marks of adornment that show they are warriors.