In 1960 and again in 1969 some Okiek were encouraged by two artists to sit for their portraits. They were long-time Kenya resident Joy Adamson and American visitor (in 1969) Hester Merwin Ayers.
Joy Adamson, well known for her care of lions and other wild cats, was also a talented, mostly self-taught, artist who first painted over 700 Kenya plants and trees as botanical specimens and in the 1950s painted portraits of Kenya's native peoples in their traditional dress, adornments and artifacts, again over 700. Both collections are at the National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi. The portraits became the subject of her extensively illustrated book, The Peoples of Kenya (1967).
In her book Adamson wrote a passage about the "Dorobo" (Okiek) she visited in the Mau Forest, south of Njoro, likely the Chepkurerek Okiek local group. At that time, 1960, a photographer, Kenneth Rittener, took a picture of her painting a Dorobo, or so it appeared. Apparently it is the only known photograph of her painting a person.
Before we show some Okiek paintings look more closely at this photograph. In fact the portrait is not of the young woman standing, it is of another woman with different adornments, slightly heavier build, and wearing a traditional Okiek hyrax cape. The lady standing is wearing two Maasai skirts (which the Okiek also use) and different jewelry. She appears in Adamson's book as figure 64 on page 123 in a photograph, identified there as a "Dorobo woman immediately after giving birth." She had not wondered off like the woman in the portrait, so could served the photographer's purpose to substitute for her, though with a slightly skeptical look.
The point of this diversion is to establish that both women are "Dorobo" (Okiek). As to other paintings done at this place of others, the following are rather low quality but recognizable as traditional Okiek persons.
Herster Merwin Ayers (1902-1975), a productive illustrator and artist, visited Narok in 1969 and with my assistantce was able to have several Okiek sit for portraits which she did on large paper (24x19") with Conte crayon. Here is one she did of Muterin, an adolescent boy a year before he was to be initiated into manhood. Other drawings are now in the Hern Museum at the University of Florida, Gainsville.