African Ceremonies
November 5, 2002 4:20 AM   Subscribe

African Ceremonies - Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher have been recording African tribal rituals and customs in stunning photography for the last three decades. Beckwith, a U.S. native, is an expert on the Massai and also spent three years living among the fascinating desert nomads, the Wodaabe. Fisher, an Australian native, spent nearly a decade and a half studying and recording jewelry and body adornment. For at least the last decade, they've been collaborating with spectacular results.
posted by madamjujujive (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Great photos, thanks for posting. I've always loved the famous Wodaabe Male Charm Dancers: "A man who can hold one eye still as he rolls the other is considered especially alluring to his female judges." Reminds me of when I first started dating...
posted by oissubke at 4:29 AM on November 5, 2002

My ex used to accuse me of being able to do something like that... She said I was looking at her with one eye, but checking out babes with the other! :)
posted by LouReedsSon at 4:44 AM on November 5, 2002

Finally, something about Africa that isn't depressing. Thanks. Great stuff.
posted by Fabulon7 at 5:26 AM on November 5, 2002

Great link, madamjujujive, thanks!
posted by ig at 6:06 AM on November 5, 2002

oissubke, I am so smitten by the Wodaabe charm dancers - it's such a fascinating and colorful ritual! You may be interested in a few other web sources on them - some great photos were taken by crew and by a National Geographic team during a dinosaur dig in the Sahara. (Beyond the Wodaabes, both these sites are interesting about the dig, too.)
posted by madamjujujive at 7:33 AM on November 5, 2002

Gorgeous! Stunning photography and a beautiful site.

Here's an interesting Salon interview with these two amazing women.
posted by taz at 8:29 AM on November 5, 2002

Great stuff, madamjujujive.
posted by plep at 9:33 AM on November 5, 2002

i like the surma cuz the women place these big honkin' clay discs in their lower lips :D and the men stick fight!
posted by kliuless at 10:11 AM on November 5, 2002

Nuba wrestlers. From
George Rodger and Africa.
Some of the most famous photos of Nuba wrestlers were taken by George Rodger after World War 2, and he's been imitated since. Rodger was trying to capture what he feared was a passing way of life by taking photographs of the wrestlers, and also the stick- and bracelet-fighters of allied cultures. Rodger's 'Village of the Nubas' (about his trip with his wife, which was her last - many photos) is well worth getting hold of...

Leni Riefenstahl also took a lot of photos of Nuba wrestlers, but I (personally) find Rodger's to be far better - not technically superior, but his approach is both humane and humanistic. Riefenstahl seems to view them almost as members of an alien species. At least, that's my impression.

Village of the Nubas.
posted by plep at 10:46 AM on November 5, 2002

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