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

The backdrop is the painted wall of a wattle and daub hut, the smooth surface layer of which is starting to flake off on the far right.  Minor points, maybe that I’ve only really appreciated now, after all these years, are the Vicks poster and the kitten.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

Technique: OM-1 with 50mm Zuiko lens; Agfa CT18 colour slide film, rated at 64 ISO.

UPDATE: The people in Kenya were in the main very friendly and hospitable.  I very much enjoyed my years in that country.  Again – once again – I wish that I had photographed more of the people that I met there.


I’m re-posting photographs that I took in Kenya over 30 years ago.  You can find more context here .  Click onto the “Archive Kenya” tag (below) to see more of these film images from Kenya.




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 ARCHIVE KENYA 99 – LUO FAMILY

  1. Helen Cherry says:

    I love this image. The daughter is the image of her mother. I take it these are the parents and not the grandparents? The man looks quite old


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Very glad you like this, my dear. No these are certainly the parents. I’m not sure about this tribe, but in others a man might take a second, younger wife as his first wife ages.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen Cherry says:

        Yes that is indeed common and women often seem to have little choice in the matter


        • Adrian Lewis says:

          That is one perspective, but in other places other cultures exist. I was not privy to the private lives of many African families, but I have first hand experience of an instance where the first wife was instrumental in instigating the incorporation of a second wife into the family, and who in fact was the one who chose the second wife. From what others told me, this was standard social practice.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane Lurie says:

    Marvelous family portrait, Adrian. Very poignant. The poster adds an important clue to the era. Great eye and relationship to your subjects.


  3. bluebrightly says:

    Each person’s expression is so different from the next one – a real family portrait and a blast from the past. I love the colors, too, and as the Vicks poster.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Meanderer says:

    I remember this and the little one on the ‘big’ chair 🙂 Can you remember if you arranged the seating positions or did the family pose themselves that way?


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      No, I never arranged anyone in these Kenya portraits, I just asked if I could photograph them and left the rest to them. It was usually sufficient to point at my camera and then point at them with an enquiring expression; I knew some swahili but no luo at all, but then my luo travelling companion was always around if more explanation was needed. Everyone was very friendly, and quite interested / curious to see me there I think. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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