This is now rarely encountered; and generally just simple decoration of a boring, blank wall. In former times, however, it was common in pubs and “hotelis” and the theme was usually animals in a scene from a traditional story or proverb.
Stick people and other stylised forms are fast-produced for the mass market; —- but that does not mean all are bad. You can always find something attractive to add a splash of colour to that wall at home.
Often the subject is face and upper body to represent a tribal identity. The dress and body ornamentation is important. Generally older people have the most interesting faces.
Making a collection
If you have the time, you may go on a portrait-huting “spree” to make a collection portraying the more than 40 tribal identities and cultures of Kenya.
The artist is often at his best with free brush strokes to depict a scene from local life.
There are a few gems out there; —- but finding them requires a lot of searching.
Wood and soft (soapstone) carvings are found in all the tourist destinations as cheap souvenirs.
However, at the other end of the spectrum, in the salons of Nairobi, are beautiful pieces costing hundreds of dollars.
To get real bargains you may travel to Kisii (for the soapstone) or Machakos (for the wooden pieces), or visit the KV Curio Shop !.