The thought that popped into my head when I first saw this incredible photo was, "next time you're overcome with delusions of badassitude, remember this and say -- no you are not tough. This is tough."
Pieter Hugo's photo series "Hyena People of Nigeria" is the result of a ten-day trek the South African photographer took with a group of wandering minstrels and their animal companions: three hyenas, two pythons and four monkeys. Shown here: "Mallam Mantari Lamal with Mainasara, Nigeria, 2005"
Here's a snip from a "making of" interview with Hugo:
‘Last year I saw a picture on a website that was taken from a car window in Nigeria,” says Pieter Hugo. “It showed a man with a hyena on the streets of Lagos.”Link. See this post on Clayton Cubitt's blog for a slew of additional links about Hugo's work.
Seated on a restaurant balcony overlooking Cape Town’s city bowl, the tall, athletic photographer says it was this crude photograph that motivated him to visit Nigeria. “The caption said he was a debt collector,” he continues, a glass of wine and salad placed in front of him. “The photograph really intrigued me.”
Through a local researcher Hugo was introduced to Adetokunbo Abiola, a Nigerian journalist who emailed him to say he knew of the men (there were more than one) in the picture. A few weeks later Hugo nervously exited Lagos airport on his first visit to the country."
Previously on Boing Boing: Hyenas and baboons for pets