On every trip I have been on in Africa, I've always made friends. Your first trip to Africa may seem scary, but rest assured that most African countries have decent safety, incredibly varied cultures, landscapes, and activities that you can only experience there. It is an experience you don't want to miss out on.
In the past few weeks I have been traveling through Ethiopia with a private, local guide I name Sam. Today I present some photos made during the journey deep into remote Ethiopian southern jungle tribes. Photos with their own stories. Enjoy!
Stilts for Fun!
First some good old fun. Home made. These guys use long stilts to go around their village. There is no real reason why, just for fun. I tried to do it as well but miserably failed. Ah well, they had a good laugh.
Journey into Omo Valley: The Bull Jumping Ceremony
The first tribe I encounter in Ethiopia and spend most of the day with is the Hamer Tribe. I was extremely lucky to encounter the bull jumping ceremony.
The ceremony is a rite of passage for any young Hamer boy. The boy needs to jump over several cows. Upon completion, he becomes a Maza, and is entitled to take several brides. Upon failure, he must return to his village and try to complete the task next year.
In one of the bizarre traditions, some women are whipped with birch sticks by the males. With every whip, the women do not flinch in agony but taunt them to do it harder. The greater the pain, the more devotion they have to the boy that is completing the ceremony.
The Mursi Tribe Camp
The second tribe I encountered is the Mursi Tribe. Upon arrival to the Mursi Tribe camp, as soon as stepping out of the vehicle, the tribe members swarm you. They say "money?" or "Birr?". Each click of your camera pointed at a person, is .20 cents. Whether it's a good photo or a bad photo, you need to pay, no matter what.
So each shot counted, literally. I really wanted to talk to the tribe members than just taking photos, so I sat with them to try to break some ground. I asked for their names, their age. Some don't have names, and they don't count their age.
The last 5 minutes I had decent conversations. They asked for medicine, and unfortunately, I only had hand sanitizer. one of the tribe members showed me a gnarly injury on his leg.
The man above spoke the best English. We exchanged names, how we were doing, what we were doing. I asked if I could take a photo before I left. I did, with no charge.