It’s getting close to my deadline for the picture book, I’ve been so intent on reaching for that I haven’t spared anytime for this blog. I will try to post more of them once I’m under less pressure.
This illustration depicts the controversial Gaar Ritual, where a boy goes naked into manhood, receiving the trademark lines of the Nuer tribe across his forehead under a blade. The right of passage grants the him privilege to own cattle, marry, and raise a family. It is tradition, and important to the author, but how to illustrate it in a American child’s picture book? I showed him before he goes under the blade. In earlier times their would be more nudity, before the village was touch by the western world. A cow is sacrificed and distributed, he is at least present in the picture. On the right the author is looking back and reflecting on this day. It will be up to the author to decide how to describe this delicate issue.