News & Views

Gabra Women of Northern Kenya

The Gabra are an Oromo speaking, camel-herding people who have long sustained a nomadic lifestyle in the Chalbi desert of Northern Kenya and the highlands of southern Ethiopia. The Gabra are remarkably integrated into the biocultural landscape and have developed sophisticated practices for thriving in dry land ecosystems. Gabra homes, made and owned exclusively by women, are portable, dome-shaped tents called mandasse made of acacia roots and covered with sisal grass mats, textiles and camel hides. To allow the dry season pastures to replenish, they migrate to the highlands during the rainy season. These photos show women in their traditional dress and the village of Haranqesa in Northern Kenya.

Photo credit: The Christensen Fund