Amonbê | Beholding Beauty
Beauty, Global Gardens, Charity, Amonbe,
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Beholding Beauty

Humans have an intrinsic need for beauty: it awakens, inspires and elevates us

After 19 years of extensive research, it is with great pleasure to announce the publication of the first volume of the Beholding Beauty Books series. As an aesthetic anthropological search, Beholding Beauty is a series of books that descend into the realm of myths and legends to unravel the deeper meaning and functions behind these beauty rituals and the plants intrinsic to their use. Beholding Beauty encompasses all corners of the globe, collecting stories, indigenous cosmetic practices and plant-derived recipes from women living at the world’s ancient crossroads—cultural melting pots that have produced an astonishing spectrum of beauty and have witnessed the trade of luxury products, ideas and a spiritual worldview for millennia. The series is an homage to all women and Mother Earth.

The Daughters of Sheba

Beholding Beauty begins in the Horn of Africa, the cradle of mankind, showcasing and documenting the history and significance behind the Horn’s ancient beautification and adornment rituals. With spectacular photographs, this historic volume provides insightful portraits of the Horn’s women, guardians of ancient wisdom, and captures every intricate detail and fine nuance of their arts of beauty and wellbeing, set against a vivid backdrop of some of the region’s most archaic and pristine landscapes.

The Spell of Sharazade

The second volume to the Beholding Beauty series sets out to discover the ancient traditions of body adornment and beautification of Central Asia, where the ‘East’ and ‘West’ have converged, and where great civilisations of the past have fused to create the societies and cultures today. With an unparalleled collection of photographs capturing the unabashed and diverse beauty of the women, The Spell of Shahrazade provides a deeper insight into their customs and rituals of seduction and beautification.


La Dorada

Beholding Beauty’s third volume journeys to the gateway of South America. With a focus on the region’s pre-Colombian body painting practices and elaborate adornments, the volume unravels the deeper meaning and functions behind these beauty rites and the plants intrinsic to their use.

The Scented Triangle

Beholding Beauty’s fourth volume journeys across the three outer most tips of the Indian subcontinent. Illustrated with powerful and intimate portraits capturing the sublime splendour of the subcontinent’s indigenous women who live in close harmony with nature, the volume is a celebration of the inherent beauty and wisdom of Bharat Mata and her daughters.

Sahelian Queens

The fifth volume documents the astonishing array of beauty and adornment practices spanning the vastly unique cultures of the Sahel, ‘the Shore’ of West Africa. Set with spectacular photographs capturing exuberant hairstyles, vibrant clothing and intricate ornamentation displayed on the Tuareg, Fulani, Songhai and Dogon queens among others.


Beholding Beauty is inviting writers and photographers to participate in our future volumes Love for the Lotus, Baltic Sea Maidens and The Caucasian Circle. If you are interested in taking part in these projects, please contact us.