Ethnic Samburu youths from Kenya performing their indigenous seduction dance. In this dance: young men and very young girls dance together to make future couples.
They are a warrior-race of cattle-owning pastoralists. The Samburu, proud of their culture and traditions, still cherish and retain the customs and ceremonies of their ancestors, unlike many other tribes in Kenya who have been more influenced by Western civilization.
They are a group that broke away from the main tribe and remained as others pushed further south. The Samburu people are completely dedicated to the raising and nurturing of their livestock, almost to the virtual exclusion of everything else. Their cattle are their life, their wealth, their livelihood and they are profoundly symbolic of status and success within the tribe. To this day, a man still pays a dowry in cattle to the parents of a future bride.
n front of the backdrop of the often barren and dusty horizon, the Samburu people bring life and colour to the landscape either out on the plains swathed in their brilliant red cloth or, even more dazzlingly, in their village with their songs and dances. Typically and traditionally, they use no instruments, even drums. They have dances for various occasions of life. But no matter what the occasion, the men primarily dance by jumping, and high vertical jumping from a standing position is like a competitive sport. Most dances involve the men and women dancing in separate circles with specific moves for each sex, while still coordinating the movements of the two groups. The central musical theme of the Samburu dances is a deep reverberating male vocal sound, a rhythmic chanting hauntingly similar to the territorial call of a lion. Warriors move with a series of astonishing vertical leaps, fiercely encouraged by the cries and shouts of other observing warriors while the women bounce, flip and swirl their magnificent collars of beads.
Traditional Samburu settlements are always situated in locations of tremendous geographic beauty, often overlooking spectacular vistas. The aesthetic appreciation of beauty is a major part of Samburu life and their beliefs, and this shows itself most in an incredible attention to physical appearance and adornment.