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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Okiek Portraits: Representation, Mediation, and Interpretation in a Photographic Exhibition
Author:Kratz, Corinne A.
Periodical:Cahiers d'Útudes africaines
Geographic term:Kenya
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Architecture and the Arts
External link:https://doi.org/10.3406/cea.1996.2001
Abstract:This paper considers one fragment of the politics of representation associated with a photographic exhibition, 'Okiek Portraits', shown in Kenya in 1989 and the United States between 1989 and 1993. The exhibition presented photographs of Okiek taken during the author's research with Kaplelach and Kipchornwonek communities in Narok District, Kenya, since 1974. Many Kenyans know little about the Okiek, who are more widely known as Torrobo, a derogatory name derived from Maasai, except that they live in highland forest, hunt wild game, and make hives to collect honey. Stereotypes of Okiek cast them as selfish, wild, incestuous, backward, and polluted. One of the aims of the exhibition was to question these stereotypical images of the Okiek. The paper focuses on Okiek viewings and interpretations of the exhibition itself and of the photographs shown, relating their reactions and commentaries to the history of photography among the Okiek and in Kenya more generally. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.