Photographer & Filmmaker Lyle Owerko
Photographer & Filmmaker, Lyle Owerko, has produced a portfolio of arresting visual images crafted from an instinctual perception of the human condition. In his series on Kenya's Sumburu Tribe, Owerko managed to capture both the spirit of the tribe's warrior culture and the underlying vulnerability and gentle nature of the Sumburu people. Cousins to the Maasai, the Samburu tribe was cut off from Western civilization until about ten years ago when Kenya's Northern territory was opened up for travel. The Samburu, known locally as "The Butterfly People," have spent the past decade increasingly adjusting their way of life to assimilate into a world more and more influenced by Western values and technology. An enigma, they are at once both proud people and unassuming—consulting the stars for spiritual guidance in their daily lives. The images shown here are part of a larger project in which Owerko aims to document the adjustments the tribe makes to survive and adapt. A lifetime commitment for the photographer, Owerko works in conjunction with The Thorntree Project—an initiative directed at helping the children of nomadic tribes in Northern Kenya go to school.