During the time I spent with Kingsley Holgate and his team on the Chew Bahir Expedition, we spent two days in Samburu country and while there, were invited a traditional Samburu wedding!
Samburu weddings are filled with traditional ceremonies throughout the day, but it’s in the late afternoon, when the energy of the celebrations climax and the colors of an entire community come together.
THE SAMBURU WEDDING CELEBRATIONS
This African Moment started in a little Samburu village just outside Archers Post.
The women all gathered together in a circle of song and chants, all in perfect unison. It was certainly a highlight of the trip, hearing the many voices of Africa and the various songs that accompanied them. These voices were especially beautiful and were such a treat to listen to while running around snapping photos of it all.
After about half an hour of snapping photographs of the various faces I’d seen through the day, along with a few ceremonies for the newly weds, Kingsley walked past and brought my attention of the Moran Warriors standing about 300m away from the ladies.
The words were no sooner out his mouth that a deep sounding chant started from where they were standing, accompanied by grunts out their throats as they all jumped up and down in a trance-like state.
This immediately broke apart the circle of singing ladies, who ran over to the men, stood right in front of them in a group and starting chanting with them men, almost challenging them to some kind of communal contest. It was a beautiful sight and still gives me goosebumps just thinking about the purity of it all.
From this point on, the entire village exploded into one of the most amazing communities I’ve ever seen with the late afternoon light, really making those colors pop. .
At one point, there was a group of about 50 villagers, if not more, dancing around and kicking up the dusty earth beneath their feet as they snaked from one side of the village to the other with interlocked arms.
It was truly one of the most colorful weddings I’ve ever been to and the sounds of those chants and deep grunts will forever be remembered!
Here are a few more photos taken on the day and if you’d like to read more “African Moments” stories, click here.