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Ethiopian Tribes, Mursi | by Dietmar Temps
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Ethiopian Tribes, Mursi

Ethiopia, tribes, Mursi woman


Among the Mursi people of the Omo Valley in Ethiopia a girl's lower lip is cut when she reaches the age 15 or 16. The girl's lip is pierced by her mother or another woman of her settlement and a simple wooden plug is inserted. The cut is held open by the wooden plug until the wound heals. After that the plug is replaced by a bigger one. The stretching of the lip continues by inserting progressively larger plugs over a period of several months. At a diameter of about 4 cm the first lip plate made of clay can be inserted, the final diameter ranges from about 8 cm to over 20 cm.


Nowadays the girls in some Mursi settlements decide for themselves whether to wear a lip plate or not. However, wearing a lip plate is still an expression of social adulthood and self-esteem for a Mursi woman and demonstrates respect for the Mursi men.


Blog: Dietmar Temps, travel blog

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Taken on December 22, 2011