This young girl is a member of four small Arbore tribes in the Southern Omo Valley of Ethiopia. I remember it was early morning and as I looked across the dusty, monochromatic landscape, her black cloth wrap and dress provided stark contrast. Already creating with her clothing a bold counter strike to the soft tan and gold of desert sand and the similarly colored half-dozen straw huts that composed the tiny hamlet, her stunning, marvelously colorful necklace stirred in me a kind of delight. She seemed to me like a flower in the desert.
If she was a flower, she was appropriately peaceful, content in her beauty—as were all of the people I met that day. Unlike the frenetic, over-curious energy I have experienced in some other locations where the appearance of a foreign person is not an everyday phenomenon, she and her people were calm, warm, gently curious, but not obtrusive or over-desirous of my novel presence. I found myself relaxing in that shared space of mutual respect and regard for self and others. We were just people, being together without agendas or obligations. It was, I recognize now, a rare moment of contrast to life’s go-go-go pace. We were flowers in a desert; peaceful, content with beauty.
18 x 24 inches (45.72 x 60.96 cm)
24 x 32 inches (60.96 x 81.28 cm)
30 x 40 inches (76.2 x 101.6 cm)
Click here to view this artwork, Black Wrap – Ethiopia, and its currently available sizes.