Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Hyena and Other Men

Images: Pieter Hugo

Sometimes you are reminded that the world is a much bigger place than the small blip your life occupies. Take these phenomenal images by Pieter Hugo for example.

Living in Nigeria's shantytowns, the 'Hyena Men' are a group of itinerant minstrels, performers who use the animals to entertain crowds and sell traditional medicines. This is a practice that has been passed down for generations and isn't nearly as seedy as the Western myth surrounding these men - that they are drug dealers, bank robbers or bodyguards who use them for protection.

"The spectacle caused by this group walking down busy market streets was overwhelming...I realised that what I found fascinating was the hybridisation of the urban and the wild, and the paradoxical relationship the handlers have with their animals - sometimes doting and affectionate, sometimes brutal and cruel," writes Hugo.

Is it just me, or do you also find these images uncomfortably compelling?


  1. It's not just you. I can't stop looking, and yet I'm all set.

  2. Those are amazing! I never realized hyenas are that big. Lion King was a little misleading I think.

  3. It is definitely not just you. I can't take my eyes off these pictures!

    Well, I took them off long enough to comment. Now I'm going to scroll back up...

  4. They entertain crowds AND sell traditional medicines? What a crazy combo. The photos are incredible. I don't think I've ever seen a more manly man! Kellie xx

  5. I think it's terrible but I'm a total animal activist who would like to take down the zoos. I'm so tired of animals being used as entertainment, let wild animals be wild.


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