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Broken Spears: A Maasai Journey
Synopses & Reviews
When renowned photojournalist Elizabeth Gilbert first came into contact with the Maasai over ten years ago, their images were everywhere in Africa. Pictures of warriors were printed on postcards, T-shirts, safari advertisements, and hotel logos, but in reality their traditional life was disappearing. So Gilbert ? whose photographs have appeared in Time, Newsweek, Men's Journal, Life, and the New York Times ? set out on a four-year journey to photograph what was left of traditional Maasailand.
Broken Spears is the stunning result of that remarkable journey where Gilbert intimately and poignantly captures the majesty of these people. Over 120 images capture the rituals, secret ceremonies, and landscapes of the Maasai, documenting the life of this extraordinary tribe in the most comprehensive collection of photographs ever assembled. Gilbert's intimate relationship with the Maasai allowed her to photograph centuries-old Maasai ceremonies, including male and female circumcisions, weddings, and perhaps the most dangerous of all Maasai rituals, a lion hunt.
A moving photographic journey into the vanishing culture of the Maasai warriors of Kenya and Tanzania, Broken Spears is a haunting testament to a rapidly disappearing way of life.
"A skilled, intimate, and remarkable portrayal of an enigmatic culture that goes well beyond the usual stereotypical treatment of the Maasai. Gilbert's work is a valuable contribution to the honorable photographic tradition of tribal studies." Peter Matthiessen
"Refreshingly, Gilbert has put together a book of black- and-white photos that is all about the subject and not the photographer....[M]ost striking are the intimate images of daily life." Christian Science Monitor
"Gilbert's remarkable photographs of a traditional lion hunt....are but a few of the vivid illustrations of her journey into 'history suspended in time.'" New York Times Book Review
"[I]f one takes the text as secondary, many of the 120 black & white photos and 40 historical illustrations emerge powerfully." Publishers Weekly
"Elizabeth Gilbert's astonishing African photographs of a vanishing culture bring to mind both the texture and feeling of Edward S. Curtis's work on the American Indians of the early 1900s. Her images of the daily life of the Maasai will stand alongside his as a classic portrait of a noble people whose way of life is slowly disappearing." George Plimpton
Over 120 images capture the rituals, secret ceremonies, and landscape of the Maasai, documenting the life of this extraordinary tribe in the most comprehensive collection of photos ever assembled.
This visual portrait of a vanishing way of life captures the everyday world of Maasai in more than 120 images revealing the traditional rituals, ceremonies, landscapes, and life cycles of an African tribe.
What Our Readers Are Saying