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Hamer girl, Tumi, Ethiopia

I visited this Hamer village near Tumi in the Omo Valley (southern Ethiopia) right on sunset – which meant, not only was the light great, but everyone was returning back to the village so there was a lot going on. Cattle being corralled, fires being lit – that kind of thing. As you have probably noticed, a lot of my Ethiopian photos were taken in the Omo Valley. People still retain traditional clothing styles which is great from a photographic point of view, but it has turned the place into a bit of a human zoo.

Anyway, I was down in Tumi working on the Lonely Planet guide so I had a good look around. The Hamer tribe is famous for its Bull Jumping Ceremony which is a coming of age celebration for Hamer young men. During this ceremony the young men must run across the backs of some cattle. Women related to the boy begged to be whipped as a sign of solidarity and latter rub dirt into the resulting wound so they become infected. The scars that form are a sign of beauty.

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Tumi, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Top Tip
Besides the Hamer, there are several others tribes in the Omo Valley region that are just as interesting.
Written by Dean
Photography by Dean