The latest project by photographer and digital artist, Osborne Macharia.
This is the story of a special unit of 4 women in a small village within Kipipiri Forest. They were the wives to 4 of the Mau Mau generals and just like their men, they too had leadership roles. This women would be endowed in the most unique hair styles whenever a full moon was approaching. To the ordinary folk this was normal but to the villagers of Kipipiri their hair style was symbolic.
BOBO: She was the leader of the Kipipiri 4. Once she did her hair, she would walk majestically and gracefully across the village without uttering a word. This was a message to the village women that at midnight they were going to visit the men deep in the forest. Her hair was twisted and curled in a complex design to form a route map to the caves that only her 2nd in command would interpret. Never did they get lost or caught.
CHEP: She was 2nd in command and was always behind Bobo. Being the arms bearer, she was a crafted fighter with more than normal night vision. Her work was to smuggle knives and other blunt weapons for sharpening to and from the Mau Mau hideouts as well as fresh supply of weapons inside her hair.
ACHI: She was the chief cook in the village and in charge of transporting food to the Mau Mau fighters. Her hair was weaved to support carrying baskets of food. At a glance one could tell she had a very strong postured neck. She always prepared an assortment of meals to the fighter’s liking.
MWENDE: She was the lead entertainer and the only one among the 4 who never went into the forest. Instead she stayed behind preparing the women in the village in welcoming their men back home. She was a great dancer with powerful vocals and would lead the women in song and dance as the men approached home. She designed her own mouth piece that had pipes connected to vocal resonators in her hair.
Make Up Artist: VALARY MDEIZI
Hair Stylist: RICHARD KINYUA & CORRINE MUTHONI
Illustrator: JEFF OTIENO