House on a farm near Akala, in the far west of Kenya; April 1979.

These are Luo people who live in the immensely fertile far west of Kenya, not far from Lake Victoria – a vast body of water that supplies them with vast quantities of fish, and with frequent thunder storms which keep their land totally green.

The structure consists of mud walls, above which a conical thatched roof is mounted on a great mass of wooden poles.  There is quite a gap between the roof and the walls but, in this hot, equatorial area, cold weather is not an issue.  This hut has at least two rooms: the doorway to a second room is to the left of the people.  The mud walls have decorations drawn straight onto them, and there is an oil lamp hanging up.  Notice how everything, including the chest of drawers and some of the pictures hanging on the walls, has cloth covers.

Food and water are not an issue for these people, they live in a wonderfully fecund landscape.  But there are diseases – it was here that malaria first got its claws into me, despite my using nets and prophylactics.

Click onto the image to see a slightly enlarged version.

OM-1 with 28mm Zuiko; Agfa CT18 colour slide, rated at 64 ISO.

About Adrian Lewis
Photographer - using mono, colour and combinations of the two - many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous, trying new ideas, working in multiple genres. And I've a weakness for Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

11 Responses to KENYA 62 – HOUSE ON A FARM

  1. Sonali Dalal says:

    Reminds me of village home in India.


  2. Malin H says:

    An image that one needs to look at for a longer time. I saw the details in the image before I read your text.
    I’m also very moved by their proud expressions. You can see that they are proud of their home.
    And good to read that food and water aren’t an issue for them.
    Another thing is that we all need to think about what we take for granted sometimes. I agree with George Weaver, this makes me feel happy.

    Ps And I’m sorry that you got malaria.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I’m very glad to hear that this image makes you happy, Malin, and you are right, they are proud. I spent a long time in the Third World and, yes, it does make me think about the things we take for granted – it has given me a different perspective on life, something that has stayed with me ever since those days, something that I am grateful for and value. Malaria was bad. It kept recurring but, finally, I was given a very strong medicine that got it totally out of my body – while at the same time knocking me sideways for six months or so!

      Happy New Year, my friend! Adrian 🙂


  3. What a charming home! The colorful touches. The wonderful fabrics. All in a mud house. I love it, Adrian. The beauty of the human spirit. You’ve captured it here better than I’ve ever seen it done. 🙂 This image makes me feel happy.


  4. krikitarts says:

    It is so easy to take our comforts for granted, and so few of us have any personal experience to compare ours with those in other parts of the world. Are we happier than they are? Are they happier than we are? Both are possible, but the reflection and contemplation are worth our while. Thanks for enhancing our awareness of our fellows and of our respective lots in life.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Interesting points, my friend! I don’t think they were basically unhappy, indeed some of my abiding memories of African people concern their laughter and great sense of humour, along with their warm hospitality.

      And as Westerners we are of course more wealthy than the people in this hut, but there were also people around who would make you and I look positively “under-wealthed”, so it was by no means a simple them and us thing.

      Then again, if some technological catastrophe were to occur, these people are far better equipped to survive and continue with life than you or I.

      I could say that, wealthier than these people as we are, we require more to make us happy – except that you and I both know that a simple and Nature-centred approach to things can bring an abundance of happiness and satisfaction. A


  5. Meanderer says:

    Wonderful image, Adrian! It’s great that you took many photos from the time you were there.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thanks, M! I have hundreds of photos from there, but only the better ones scanned. I was mainly a birdwatcher, but the wonderful little Olympus OM camera and three diminutive lenses (28, 50, 75-150) went with me most places that I travelled – I used to carry this gear in an army surplus gas mask bag! A 🙂


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