Photographing African Tribes at the Corner of the Universe!
Turmi Travel Blog› entry 39 of 46 › view all entries
Deep in the Rift Valley, in southwest Ethiopia is the mezmerizing Omo Valley, near Kenya - home of some of the most remote African tribes on the planet. My words could NEVER explain my experience here. I'll leave this to my photos and videos. They are a MUST SEE. Check it and tell me if I am wrong.
Visiting these Ethiopian tribes in the Omo Valley was one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had in my life. If there is ONE place for culture that I would recommend visiting on our planet - it is here. Now.
Spaced approximately 60-80 kilometers apart are a dozen different tribes. Each one is unique in their language, tradition, dress and culture. My only way to describe this to a westerner is to imagine placing yourself in an American Indian tribe in Wyoming in the year 1491.
This is a land where they offer you fresh cow or goat blood to drink. These are a people who have a Bull-Jumping ceremony as part of a marriage process - where the boy runs over the top of bulls while his sisters and female relatives get whipped and bloody. This is an insanely different existence than we westerners could ever imagine.
In order to visit a tribe, we had to meet with the "chief" and sit with his council for approval. And, since we are westerners, we had nothing to offer accept money. So, we gave 30 birr (around $3) and we were eventually warmly welcomed. Once accepted, we were formally allowed to roam around the villages. Children swarmed us like bees on honey.
The most mezmerizing thing was to see what these people were wearing. It was unbelieveable. The women were decorated with goat skin, fur, bone jewelry and feathers pierced through their lips. They made jewelry from virtually anything metal that they found: bottle-caps and watch bands were popular.
We were invited into a wood/mud hut to drink "milk". Yes - I tried it since it would have been extremely rude to decline. The children played for hours with me. We had an amazing time. OK, enough reading. Go look at all these photos. You won't believe what you see.....