John Kenny

Horns of Africa

Country  –   Ethiopia
Culture   –   Mursi
Year        –    2009


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The Mursi are one of many groups that practice scarification in the Omo valley and are perhaps the most adept at producing intricate and beautiful patterns. The ritual of scarring, which can be extremely painful, is seen by some anthropologists as a type of controlled violence, and a mechanism for preparing the younger members of society for the sensations of seeing blood and feeling pain. Such an explanation does seem plausible in this part of Ethiopia where competition for grazing is so intense, and conflict is a way of life between groups such as the Mursi and the Nyangatom.

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.

Young Hamer woman

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