The Barabaig are a group of nomadic cattle herders in north central Tanzania. In the 1980s, Charles Lane had the privilege of living as one of them for two years, which was the beginning of a life-long relationship.
This beautifully illustrated book, photographed by the author in the years he lived with the Barabaig, shows their artistry in many facets of their lives and provides a fascinating anthropological record and a visual feast. This rich culture is now under threat, making this book an invaluable record.
Charles was drawn into challenges that faced the Barabaig, helping to mount a legal case seeking to overturn the loss of their lands, and conducting an international campaign in defense of their rights. The experience shaped and influenced his own life, and helps to inform us on the way in which sustainable traditional cultures have struggled to adapt to a changing world.
“In Charles Lane, the Barabaig have a consistent champion, who has been immersed in their lives across almost 40 years. This book is a product of this remarkable engagement. It is a beautiful and riveting account, rich in insights and revelations about the Barabaig, supported by fascinating anecdotes from the life Charles shared with them.” George Monbiot – Writer and Environmentalist
“The Barabaig have been forced into changes they never sought and never wanted. We must hope this artistic record serves to help all of us to picture how they used to enjoy life and how some of them might do so again in the future.” Stephen Corry - Survival International
About the Author
Charles Lane grew up in Melbourne, before living in Tanzania for ten years, including time as head of Oxfam’s Tanzanian operations. Experiences during his field research for a doctorate provide the content of this book. He went on to work from London for international development agencies before returning to Australia as CEO of a national philanthropic entity.
He has written two books and numerous academic papers, exhibited his photographs internationally and made the documentary film ‘The Price of Conservation’ for the BBC. He currently lives in Melbourne, where he combines community work with raising beef cattle the Australian way on the grassy hills of Central Victoria.