There was not much to buy on the market in Turmi, mainly grain. Nevertheless hundreds of Hamer milled around, shopping, haggling and chatting, not particularly concerned with the few tourists stumbling around.
They simply look stunning. Apart from their traditional customs, it is the hair-do of the women, who makes them stand out among the other tribes of the area. Ochre, water and resin is mixed together and rubbed into hair that is then twisted into what looks like coppery-colored dreadlocks. It is a sign of health and welfare.
Like many other ethnic groups in the Omo Valley, the Hamer use scarification as a sign of bravery (men) or of beauty (women). Ash is applied into a small wound, the resulting infection increases the growth of scar-tissue and this creates the desired knobbly patterns.
But the Hamer practice a far more painful ritual. Nothing prepared us for this cruel Hamer tradition: the Bull – Jumping Ceremony!
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