Saturday, October 03, 2015

In his war dress ... the Masai warrior, is a striking, if not impressive, figure. W. Churchill #QotD

2015.09.27-DSC02979In his war dress the Kikuyu, and, still more, the Masai warrior, is a striking, if not impressive, figure. His hair and body are smeared with the red earth of his native land, compounded into a pigment by mixture with the slimy juice of the castoroil plant, which abounds. Fantastic headdresses, some of ostrich feathers, others of metal or leather; armlets and leglets of twisted wire; stripes of white clay rubbed across the red pigment ; here and there an old pot-hat or some European garment, incongruously contrasted with leopard-skins and bulls' horns; broad, painted cow-hide shields, and spears with soft iron blades nearly four feet long, complete a grotesque and indecorous picture. Still, there is a sleek grace about these active forms — bronze statues but for their frippery — which defeats all their own efforts to make themselves hideous. (p. 30)

From My African Journey (1909) by Winston Churchill

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