I recently checked out an exquisite book from the library by Dutch photographers Dos and Bertie Winkle, Vanishing Beauty: Indigenous Body Art and Decoration. It’s a compilation of photographs documenting the Winkle’s travels across five continents in an effort to capture the body art and adornment of varying cultures and tribes.
I particularly appreciated the neckpieces of the Rendille tribe of Northern Kenya. The armor-like necklaces, pictured below, were originally made of grass beads, leather, and elephant hair. Now that elephants are no longer plentiful, the pieces incorporate palm fibers instead of hair. Traditionally worn by women, these collars indicate marital status.
I really like the use of pigments, the structure, and the physical dimension of these pieces. I have more horse hair in my studio, and I can’t wait to see how these pieces inspire my upcoming work. For more information about the Rendille, you can click here.
photos: Dos and Bertie Winkle