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The Hyena and Other Men [Hardcover]

Pieter Hugo , Adetokunbo Abiola
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Nov 2007
Many myths surround the "Hyena Men" who haunt the peripheries of Nigeria's cities. Accompanied by hyenas, rock pythons and baboons, these men earn a living by performing before crowds and selling traditional medicines. Pieter Hugo's extraordinary portraits of their liminal existence reveal an uncanny world of complex, codependent relationships, where familiar distinctions between dominance and submission, wildness and domesticity, tradition and modernity are constantly subverted. Nigerian journalist Adetokunbo Abiola introduces readers to the "Hyena Men," explaining the traditions and mystique behind their practices. Presented in thirty-five full-color plates, these intense portraits reveal why Hugo is one of the most exciting young photographers at work today.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Prestel; 2nd Ed edition (30 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3791339605
  • ISBN-13: 978-3791339603
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 28.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,044,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Fascinating tale of a photographic adventure in the African continent"
Amateur Photographer, October 4, 2008 --Amateur Photographer, October 4, 2008

"Pieter Hugo's new body of work, They Hyena and Other Men, is immediately magnetic, unsettlign and captivating" --Hotshoe Magazine, Feb 2009

Feted with numerous awards and prizes, his unsettling images of the continent's marginal people are breaking new ground. ----


Pieter Hugo's stunning portraits of the 'hyena men' have already won first prize in World Press Photo....a handsome volume by Prestel

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and affecting 29 Dec 2008
This is a beautiful and affecting book about a unique group of people existing on the margins of society in Nigeria. The pictures have a haunting quality that stays with you for a long time. Recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars pictures of shocking brutality 9 July 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wonderful photographs of a brutal and little known subject. Not uplifting but cautionary. I open this book everytime with a shrinking feeling at being exposed to the savage implications of the images. But I'm very glad I have it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and slightly disappointing 15 Feb 2009
By B. Iversen - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Ever since I heard about this book at a photo festival I knew that I had to have it. The photos are very captivating. The most difficult part about being a great photojournalist is not to capture sharp or well composed images, but rather the telling of stories from areas or societies that not everyone has access to. Hugo has done a phenomenal job on gaining the acceptance of the dog trainers and perhaps even the dogs/hyenas themselves.The photos in this book are masterfully done in every respect. Printing is exquisite.

However, my gripe is with the editing of the book itself and in the selection of images.
After about 20 photos of the same couple of guys posing with their hyenas I want to see more. Several phots look like they have been taken minutes apart. There is little contact between man and dog and even with their surroundings. We don't get to know the people behind the hyenas, it is as if we meet them by chance on the street and they agree to pose for us.

All that said, I think this book is slated to be a future classic, epecially if Hugo made a re-edition with more varied images!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...but they are people like unto you 16 April 2010
By Daniel Coverdale - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It never fails. A friend picks up my copy of the book, staring at the photo on the jacket, and then starts to turn each page, slowly, softly whistling, or humming, or whispering, "what IS this?"

I've been around wild hyenas a bit, and they're fascinating animals. Their "laughing" is clearly a complex, almost dolphin-like language. They're rather timid, nowhere near as ferocious and dangerous as the big cats, to which they are apparently related.

And then, the photos of man and baboon, just two stoic guys looking at the camera. These are photos that defy description. It's true, as one reviewer observed, there aren't enough photos. How could there be enough?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Photos, A Unique Book 9 Mar 2009
By Peter Lakanen - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you're unsure as to whether or not you might like this book, search online for the author's web site. He has one of the two text narratives posted as well as most of the photos in small images. If you like what you see there, you'll love this book. Though the book layout is very simple, the print quality is top notch.

Finally, if you care about such things, the copy of the book I received in the mail today was the fourth printing, not the second printing like the Amazon product description promised.

Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful 10 Aug 2009
By T. L. McCullough - Published on
Beautiful, full-colour pictures in this book. I love hyaenas, so this was a real treat to find for me. There are also very nice pictures of these men with baboons and pythons as well. Very well-put-together.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 15 Feb 2009
By A. Acker - Published on
Definitely worth purchasing. The book is top quality and the commentary is very good.
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