Smiths from around Mount Kenya

Smiths from around Mount Kenya

The original caption, entitled "The Vegetarian Smiths of Kenya", reads: "Round Mount Kenya dwell tribes who have houses like these, or circular tents. They practise pottery and weaving, work metal and cultivate the soil with more or less domestic animals. They are good smiths and make metal rings for ornaments." Note that if the book's other captions are anything to go by, don't take this as cast-iron fact! The mystery is the identity of these people, for I haven't come across any other reference to stone buildings around Mount Kenya. The rest of the description fits well for the Mbeere, Embu or Meru, as the Kikuyu were by then well known and I presume would have been named as such. Any suggestions?

Credit: photo by Canadian Pacific Railway; scanned from the book, "The Story of the World in Pictures" (Odhams Press, London, 1934).


Traditional Music & Cultures of Kenya
Copyright Jens Finke, 2000-2003

also by Jens Finke
Chasing the Lizard's Tail - across the Sahara by bicycle - fine art photography