Image: Ngaire Lawson
The men and women of the Hamer tribe take a lot of care in their appearance. This woman’s traditional clothing is made of soft cow skin, decorated along the edges with a border of beads. She is adorned with metal bracelets, cowry shells, and beads, most of which she will wear her whole life.
The woman’s intricately plaited hair, meanwhile, is covered in red ochre. And the torque around her neck indicates that she is a first wife and serves as a symbol of status amongst the tribe. This elaborate attire is not just about fashion, and almost every article of clothing carries some symbolic meaning for the Hamer.