As the Dawes Act weakened the tribes in the U.S by parceling out reservation land to individuals, a new law in Kenya is doing the same to the land of the Maasai. Business-minded Kenyans are flooding the savannah, buying up ground that has never before been for sale, and remaking huge swaths of open plains into wheat fields. The photograph is in Narok, the man walking beside the combine a Maasai elder.
These logs traveled off the Amazon River to Pucallpa, Peru. A man working on the deck of the barge saw me trudging through the mud and waved me over. I climbed aboard. I asked him how big was the biggest tree he’d ever seen. He said his uncle had worked as a logger in Africa and he spoke of a tree so large that when struck with an ax, it started to rain.
Ofir bought a billy goat and rode in the back of a pickup toward the Achipawa, searching for the first Achipawa Christian, Timothy, who lived on the edge of Achipawa territory and who would speak English. Ofir was in the remote north of Nigeria. Several days on, he and Timothy began to climb the volcano on which the Achipawa live. The two boys pictured were working seven years in the fields of their future father-in-laws, strangely echoing Jacob in Genesis. The Achipawa are animists.
Brother Bulus Demena tried to build a church in the territory of the Achipawa and was driven out. He told Ofir, “They are guarding their chief called god. No one enters. He is their god…They will not let you in. Don’t go there.” Still, as is the custom in Nigeria, Brother Bulus welcomed Ofir to his house and surrounded him with enough pots of food to feed a family of five. On the wall behind Ofir is a Year 2000 Doomsday poster, which delineates those going to heaven and those not. People drinking in bars, playing soccer, and practicing karate are not going up.