National Geographic : 1969 Feb
KODACHROME BY ALLANC. FISHER,JR. ( N.G.S. With a gentle whack, a soapstone sculptor of the Kisii tribe, watched by his son, roughs out a figurine with a machete-like panga.He will use a smaller knife to carve details. Taught sculp ture by a Catholic missionary in the 1930's, members of his vil lage hand down the art from father to son. emerge under hands wielding such crude tools. a stern c When we left, several of Alexander's finest blood (pi busts and a number of works by others, all Yes, th carefully wrapped and tenderly cradled, rode should s on the back seat. But I felt a bit guilty; I had nel-like h bought the lot-beautiful objects I shall al- huddled ways treasure-for the equivalent of only $32, of cattle the asking price, of thorn 1 forage ge Rural Kenyans Seek Better Life the me the smel Kenya's average European visitor never move to meets an African socially. He is led about by Out in his own kind, travels with his own kind. Peo- herdsme ple he sees in rural areas obviously possess and dan few of this world's goods, and he concludes have also that, by and large, they are a primitive lot. with har I disagree. So does Donald F. Heisel, a re- return fc search sociologist of the Population Council, watched located in New York City, and a staff member villagers of the Institute for Development Studies of *See "Sp University College, Nairobi. Monsanto 194 "I can't think of any word less appropriate than primi tive," he told me. "I find people in the rural areas acutely con scious of what affects them. They are a very intelligent peo ple, by no means cut off from the world. There is a tremen dous eagerness for improve ment, a real attempt to pull themselves up by their boot straps. They are trying to ham mer out a new style of life; the movement is likely to be toward the kind of urban economic development we know. "At the same time, there is real poverty and real despera tion in some areas. If their as pirations are not fulfilled to a degree, there will be bitterness and a search for a scapegoat." These comments apply prin cipally to what might be termed the awakened tribes, the tribes of Kenya's breadbasket, who have advanced cultures of their own and who have had the most exposure to the white man's ways. In its wilderness areas, Kenya still has truly primitive peoples, such as the Masai, the Turkana, and the Somalis. Ah, the Masai moran,or war rior! Tall, proud, ready to kill a lion with his spear, drinker of *oncoction of cow's milk and cow's age 155).* is storied Masai still exists, but you ee the way he lives-in a squat, tun ut of brush plastered with cow dung, with other huts and the village herds and goats, behind a protective circle brush. Periodically, when the nearby ts low and even the Masai can't stand 1 and the flies of their village, they a new site. the bush I have encountered Masai n whose stoic disregard of hardship ger compelled my admiration. But I seen Masai beg money from tourists, sh cries of "shillingi! shillingi!" in >r posing for a photograph. I once a tourist with a movie camera pay to form a circle, join hands, and jump earing Lions With Africa's Masai," by Edgar Queeny, GEOGRAPHIC, October 1954.