Among the Pokot tribe in rural Kenya, parents arrange marriages for their daughters at the beginning of their adolescence – without discussing it with them.

Reuters photojournalist Siegfried Modola, who has previously documented female genital mutilation among the tribe, has returned to Baringo County. His photos show a young girl who tried to escape when she realised she was to be married without her consent.

The first she knew of the wedding was when a group of men arrived with a dowry of livestock in exchange for her, comprising 20 goats, three camels and 10 cows.

pokot kenya marriage
A man holds a girl as she tries to escape after discovering she is to to be marriedSiegfried Modola/Reuters
pokot kenya marriage
A man grabs a girl to bring her back to her family home after she tried to escapeSiegfried Modola/Reuters
pokot kenya marriage
Pokot men lead a girl to be married to a member of their communitySiegfried Modola/Reuters
pokot kenya marriage
Pokot men stand near the home of a girl who is to be taken as wife for a member of their groupSiegfried Modola/Reuters
pokot kenya marriage
A man inspects a dowry of cows received for his daughter's hand in an arranged marriageSiegfried Modola/Reuters

In the Pokot tradition, girls are ready for marriage after undergoing an initiation ceremony marking their passing over into womanhood.

pokot kenya marriage
pokot kenya marriage
Pokot girls wearing beads and with their faces painted walk towards a hut where they will be secluded, out of sight of the men in the communitySiegfried Modola/Reuters
pokot kenya marriage
A Pokot man holds a lamb as he blesses over a hundred girls during an initiation ceremony marking the girls' passing over into womanhoodSiegfried Modola/Reuters
pokot kenya marriage
Pokot girls attired with traditional beads stand in a circle during an initiation ceremonySiegfried Modola/Reuters