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Bana tribe whipper, Omo Key Afer, Ethiopia | by Eric Lafforgue
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Bana tribe whipper, Omo Key Afer, Ethiopia

The Banas, like the Hamers, in the Omo valley of Ethiopia, have a special ceremony: the bull jumping. When a teenager becomes a man and want to marry a girl, he needs to jump across 10 bulls. During this ceremony, the family girls of the jumpers (mother, sisters..), to show their strength, ask a man to...whip them! The whipper is the man on the picture: you can recognize him thanks to the feathers he wears on the head and the special haircut he has.

It is very violent, lot of blood and scars, but nobody complains. The game is to be whipped and whipped again, without showing any pain, and some girls even fight to be the first to be whipped.

The whipper is a boy who has succeed the bull jumping, and before getting married, he whips!


© Eric Lafforgue

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Taken on July 12, 2012