Body paintings in Omo tribes unfortunately also show the increasing
impact of foreign tourists. Suri people have developed and created new
body paintings as well as new dress codes in order to attract
tourists. They have understood that they would be more eager to take
pictures from them with such decoratives paintings and ornaments, and
to pay for it. A few years ago, Suri boys started to disguise by
wearing flower headdresses. These dress codes, invented for some of
them, have lost their social and cultural meaning.
Noticing these strategies were successful neighboring tribes and villages started to imitate the Surma. These « ethno » tourists influence the material culture of the Omo Valley people and its expression, and by doing so, cause changes, they paradoxally don’t want to see happening. It also makes wonderful pictures and books...
© Eric Lafforgue