This girl is called a Utah. She lives around Turmi, in the Hamar area.
Soon, she will be married, so some months before, she goes to live in
a house, isolated from the village. She is supposed to meet nobody but
the people who feed her as she neds to be fat for the wedding day. She
does not know who will be her husband, she will discover him during
The Utah needs to cover her whole body with a mix of mud as you can see on the picture.
As the times are very hard in south Ethiopia now for harvesting, this one was also helping the people in the fields. Some friends of her come to sleep with her in the hut, to support her.
Some Hamer people also told me that sometimes, when the bride cannot be paid by the husband, she stays in the house, waiting for the money.
© Eric Lafforgue