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Hamar tribe girl Ethiopia | by Eric Lafforgue
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Hamar tribe girl Ethiopia

I repost some pictures, as Flickr asked me to moderate them. So i put some clean versions..

Hamar in Turmi, Ethiopia.

The Hamar live on the eastern side of the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia. They are a tribe with unique rituals such as a bull-leaping ceremony that young men go through in order to to marry, own cattle and have children, whereupon young Hamar women get whipped to prove their love and strenght to the relative who jumps.

Honey collection is a major activity and their cattle is the focus of their life. There are at least 27 words for the subtle variations of colour and texture of cattle - and every man has 3 names: a human name, a goat name, and a cow name.

The Hamar are very pre-occupied with their beauty. They have at times spectular haidresses. They use a wooden head rest that prevents the hair from touching the ground.

 

Women tend to wear their hair in short tufts rolled in ochre and fat or in long twisted strands. These coppery coloured strands are called goscha that are a sign of health and welfare. They wear bead necklaces, iron bracelets around their arms, and decorate their breast with lots of cowry shells; like a natural bra.

Married women favour a hairstyle of long, twisted strands rubbed in ochre. Around their necks they wear esente (torques made of iron wrapped in leather). These engagement presents are worn for life and indicative of their future husband's wealth. An upper torque, the bignere, may only be worn by a man's first wife. Added at the time of marriage, its distinctive iron protrusion is both a phallic and a status symbol.

Young, unmarried girls wear Bala in their hair, which is a flat oval-shaped metal plate that protrudes on their foreheads like the front of a hat.

 

Some Hamar believe that evil exists in certain unholy or impure things, which are the causes of some disastrous circumstances like drought and epidemics on the village. Twins, a child born outside of formal marriages are considered to possess mingi (abnormality, pollution, unclean) and, for this reason, they are abandonned into the bush to die.

  

Les hamar vivent sur la partie est de la vallée de l'Omo dans le sud de l'Ethiopie. Ils sont celebres pour la ceremonie du saut de vaches, durant laquelle les jeunes gens doivent marcher sur uen quinzaine de betes alignées sans tomber pour pouvoir se marier et avoir des enfants. Pendant cette ceremonie, les femmes de la famille du suateur se font fouetter violement le dos pour le soutenir.

Les Hamar soignent leur apparence, et surtout leur coiffure. les hommes utilisent tous un appui tete en bois pour la proteger lorsqu'ils dorment.

Les femmes Hamar ont de multiples coiffures, la plus conjue etant celle qui presente les cheveux en longues tresses pendantes occres et pleines de graisse.

Elles portent autour du cou et la poitrine de longs colliers de cauries, et de nombreux colliers et bracelets.

Un collier doit retenir l'attention: le bignere. Cest un anneau de fer entouré de cuir et qui se termine par une pointe phallique. il est porté par la premiere epouse. Les autres colliers en fer indiquent que le mari a une 2eme, une 3eme epouse.

Les jeunes filles qui ne sont pas mariées portent le bala sur la tete, une sorte de plaque de fer ovale , qui fait aussi office de par soleil, mais il se fait rare.

 

Certains Hamar croient toujours en des forces et signes malefiques pour le village, la famille ou leur vie. Ainsi, les jumeaux, les enfants nés hors mariage, sont considerés comme mingi (pas purs) et sont abandonnés à la naissance dans le bush. Le sacrifice des enfants se retrouve dans d'autres tribus de la région. les parents preferent tuer l'enfant plutot que de voir la famile ou la communauté frappée par le mauvais oeil.

  

© Eric Lafforgue

www.ericlafforgue.com

  

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Taken on October 27, 2008