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John Kenny

Afar woman of Assaita

Country  –   Ethiopia
Culture   –   Afar
Year        –    2009


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The town of Assaita is in the fiercely hot lowlands of the Rift Valley at the very north eastern edges of Ethiopia, near to Djibouti.  Unlike Ethiopia’s highlands,  which are renowned for their long history of orthodox Christianity, the arid Afar region is predominantly Islamic.

Afar women have for hundreds of years practiced an intricate facial scarification as an assertion of collective Afar identity and individual beauty. The practice appears to be less frequently adhered to today, and as Afar males are also fiercely protective, images of this type of scarification are quite rare.

John Kenny’s work is all shot on location in some of the remotest corners of Africa. His images are all taken with natural light and in their day to day attire.

The C-type prints are mounted with an acrylic face mount giving them a 3-dimensional appearance and a contemporary look.

Himba child l
Himba child ll

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