"The Whitened Bodies"

Kikuyu - 'the whitened bodies'

Original caption reads "The whitened bodies". Possibly from Kinyona Location, Kigumo or Murang'a District. The image presumably depicts a dance group, and although unclear, the dancers appear to be warriors (white head dresses were worn by them). People painted their bodies white on special occasions, especially sacred - such as for sacrifices, initiation, circumcision and the period of seclusion after circumcision.

Credit: public domain photograph from the Billy Graham Center (BGC) Archives.

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

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