Remote and Poked, Anthropology's Dream Tribe
LEWOGOSO LUKUMAI, Kenya - The rugged souls living in this remote desert enclave have been poked, pinched and plucked, all in the name of science. It is not always easy, they say, to be the subject of a human experiment.
"I thought I was being bewitched," Koitaton Garawale, a weathered cattleman, said of the time a researcher plucked a few hairs from atop his head. "I was afraid. I'd never seen such a thing before."
Another member of the tiny and reclusive Ariaal tribe, Leketon Lenarendile, scanned a handful of pictures laid before him by a researcher whose unstated goal was to gauge whether his body image had been influenced by outside media. "The girls like the ones like this," he said, repeating the exercise later and pointing to a rather slender man much like himself. "I don't know why they were asking me that," he said.
Anthropologists and other researchers have long searched the globe for people isolated from the modern world. The Ariaal, a nomadic community of about 10,000 people in northern Kenya, have been seized on by researchers since the 1970's, after one - an anthropologist, Elliot Fratkin - stumbled upon them and began publishing his accounts of their lives in academic journals.( Collapse )