Click here to view this artwork, Malkia | Kenya, and its currently available sizes.

When I look at this woman who is a member of Kenya’s Maasai tribe, the first thought that hits me is that she has the perfect head. It’s beautiful and I imagine her skull as a vessel, a living sculpture. There’s also another idea; the notion of eternity and the bones of the body and mummies and how everlasting the skull is after all else has turned to dust. There are subsequent thoughts; that of the skull housing her brain, but also her soul, psyche, ability to love, to think, to have integrity or not.

Hopefully, all of her gorgeous anatomy connects to heartfelt authenticity. Her head is bare, devoid of curls and tangles, shaven to perfection, as is true of most of the women in her tribe. Their endowment in the male dominated world is slight, but powerful. A female in the Maasai culture makes babies, raises children, fetches water, and bears responsibility for daily, back-breaking work. There is magnificence in her beauty. She carries within her anatomy the future of her tribe.

I titled this work “Malkia,” which means queen in Maasai language, because to me she looks regal, peaceful, composed. When the women wearing these colorful, hand-beaded necklaces jump, the stacks of beads collapse upon each other; creating an audible vibration and rhythm to which they can dance. The adornment—the necklace and earrings—as well as the woman’s body itself are therefore instruments leading to joy, celebration, and eternal life.

Limited Edition


18 x 39 inches (45.72 x  99.06 cm)

24 x 52 inches (60.96 x 132.08 cm)

30 x 65 inches (76.2   x 165.1 cm)