The Surma people live in the remote southwest corner of Ethiopia. The Surma have a basic subsistence and barter economy. Their wealth is based on their cattle, and the main food source is the produce from their own crops. There is very little outside trade. The Surma are a highly monolingual and homogenous society, living beyond most of the influences of the modern world and its technology.
The girl pictured here shows some of the typical Surma characteristics for both men and women: large earplugs, decorative body painting, the hair shaved in patterns. Women wear a leather garment fastened at one shoulder which encircles the waist like a skirt. Men and children typically wear no clothing. Surma women are noted for the large clay lip plates worn in the lower lip.
They have very famous traditional game called Donga.
Donga : is a stick fighting festival of the Surma young men. At a fight, each challenger is armed with a hardwood stick. Each player beats his opponent with his stick as many times as possible with the intention of knocking him down, and eliminating him from the game. Players are usually unmarried men. The winner will be carried on a platform of poles to a group of girls waiting at the open field. The winner holds the privilege to ask among those girls for his own wife.
The Hamar occupy a mountainous region in the eastern part of the lower Omo Valley. Their name is also spelled Hamer. The Jumping the bull ceremony is the most spectacular rite of passage in Southern Ethiopia. This ceremony marks the initiation of young men in to adult hood. The main players are the initiates, those who are going to jump the bulls and the maz, those recently initiated who have already undergone this rite.
The initiate boys are required to jump in to the backs of formidable obstacle jump down on to the other side and then repeat the entire procedure on the day after the jumping the bull ceremony, women gather together, beautifully attired in their bedded skins and iron jeweler. Hammer women wear their hair in dense ringlets smeared with mud and clarified butter4 and topped off with a head featuring oblongs of gleaming aluminum courtship daces follow and continue for the following two days and night.
Their dance styles called evangadi and camp fire ritual has attracted many scholars artists and visitors to their land from different parts of the globe.
The people of Konso are well known for their intricately terraced hillsides, fine woven materials, carved totems made of wood, decorated graves (mainly the king & his wife), impressive village and etc. Explore The Konso King, totems, Konso villages, and Gesergiyo (New York)-magnificent rock formation.
From these beginnings their remarkable culture developed in virtual isolation. Surrounded by their neighbors, they continue to till their fields. With the exception of trading with the Borena for salt or cowrie shells, outside influence has virtually passed them by.
They have always fiercely defended their territory. This is evident in the fact that each village is walled. Much of their land is terraced and planted with trees, and the fertile fields are tended, irrigated and fertilized. There is a passionate love for work in the blood of these people.
Also known as the Galeb or Geleb, this tribe lives just north of Kenya's Lake Turkana. Their neighboring tribe is the Turkana people. The Daasanech are pastoralists (cattle herders), but due to the harsh territory, they have moved south to grow crops and fish. Cattle are used by the tribesman for meat, milk and clothing. Often their cattle die from disease and drought. For the reason that they inhabit inhospitable environment the Daasanech are the poorest tribes in the Omo Valley.
Because the Daasanech people come from multiple ethnic groups, both men and women must agree to be circumcised. There are eight clans that make up the Daasanech tribe, each having its own name they are the Elele, Inkabelo, Inkoria, Koro, Naritch, Oro, Randal and the Ri'ele. Each clan is defined by its territory with the Inkabelo being the wealthiest.
During a ceremony, the Dassanech men dance with large sticks and the women hold wooden batons. A Daasanech man blesses his daughter's fertility and future marriage by celebrating the Dimi. During the Dimi 10 to 30 cattle are slaughtered. Both men and women wear fur capes while they feast and dance. A Dimi ceremony will most likely take place in the dry season.