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Hi everyone, I hope you like this project. If you like those pictures, feel welcome and have a look at my website www.parcheminsdailleurs.com E… Read More
Hi everyone, I hope you like this project. If you like those pictures, feel welcome and have a look at my website www.parcheminsdailleurs.com Early November 2011, we’re back in Africa. We land in Addis Ababa and set our first steps ever in Ethiopia. We first travel to Arba Minch, in the south, before plunging into the Omo valley and meet the local tribes there: Hamers, Mursi, Karos, Surma, Bume, Galeb, Bodis,... Each of them more fascinating and more beautiful than the other. A thrilling, disturbing trip, even disconcerting at times. Like a fantasy that takes shape right there in front of us...in us... After two weeks spent in the Omo Valley, we head northwards to Lalibela, discovering of the Northern part of the country. Upon arrival, we quickly get lost in the medieval and stone-carved world of Lalibela, march along the fuzzy and yet to be drawn frontier between the past and present and take part in striking Christian ceremonies that have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Ethiopia is an Africa of superlatives, the country that breaks itself into the great Rift, with monoliths churches that defy our understanding, obelisks and castles from the past, steadfast religious processions, busy markets, tribes, old people, children, noise, smiles,... This edge of the world seems so far away, as one moves in an area where any attempt to travel becomes an adventure, both breathtaking and part of an initiation rite. We finish our trip in Harar, in Ethiopia’s remote territory. Harar, a walled, grey and ocher city, in the grip of rugged mountains that seem to stifle the breath of life. Behind the old city walls, minarets point to the blue sky, and share with us the sound of the muezzin’s call for the second morning prayer. Harar is a complex city, proud of its history, far away from all other places - both in space and in time, as it seems to have been frozen in an unreal era. The French poet Arthur Rimbaud once used to walk in its streets, as he lived and worked here 130 years ago, before leading an unfortunate life.. In the evening, as the stars rise up in the sky, hyenas descend from the mountains that surround the city which has meanwhile closed its gates. These hideous scavengers rummage bins, laughing, looking for rotten meat. In Harar, any traveler cannot escape to be dragged in another century: the «Christian market», outside of the city walls near the Shoa gate, offers a dazzling variety of vegetables, fruits, spices and dried fruits. The flamboyant outfit of the Amhara women trembles in sunlight while pedestrians make their way among goats, donkeys and taxi carts drawn by small horses. Today, thirty-three thousand souls live within the walls of this city forgotten by time. Not less than 99 mosques exist in Harar, most of which are small one-floor houses topped by a thin minaret. Harar is considered to be the fourth holiest city of Islam and has been listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO since 2006. We spent a week in Harar, and were completely taken away by the magic of its forgotten time... Ethiopia, an unforgettable trip to a millennium Africa. A country with the cradle of humanity, breathtaking landscapes, thirty centuries of history, the obvious side of Man, in its purest form, at any time and any place... Read Less
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The Mursis live in a remote area of Ethiopia. They live in perfect harmony with the environment. They form a homogeneous group, governed by ancient dogmas and ancient rituals. They have little interaction, even peaceful, with the other peoples of the region and fight fiercely with spears and Kalashnikovs, against cattle rustling and kidnapping of women perpetrated by other peoples in their territories. They quarrel regularly with Hamers. The Mursi attach great importance to the intra-tribal harmony. They gather in remote villages on the marshy banks of the Omo River, where the presence of the tsetse fly is less. Their huts are thatched and small.
Ritual dance held by the tribes Hamer, Omo Valley
«In the eyes of God, who is responsible for the bad education of a child is more reprehensible than a murderer». Ethiopian proverb
Young Hamer boy, Key Afar market
Turmi market, Hamer territory
The Bull Jumping ceremony, held by the Hamer tribes, is the initiation rite of a teenage boy. A part of the ceremony involves the brutal whipping of the female relatives of the boy with the aim to get as many scars on the women's back as possible. These wounds are seen as the mark of a true Hamar woman, and all the village's women participate.
For the Mursi women, the setting up of the lower lip ornament (called «Dheba») occurs before the age of 10 years, after extraction of the lower incisors. The lip is perforated and a wooden peg is placed. The opening is enlarged from year to year by the introduction of a larger and larger cylinder, until establishment of a large disk of clay, decorated with engravings. We do not know the exact origin and function of the practice. Some anthropologists argue that this lip mutilation was to make women ugly to protect slave raids. Today, the function is only symbolic since only high-caste women are entitled to wear them. The size of the plateau is a measure of the dowry demanded by the family of marriageable girls, dowry consisting of cattle and goats and...a gun.Mursi women don't wear their lip plate permanently but only at limited times of presence of the husband and son or during important meetings. Apart from these occasions, the plate is not used in everyday life.
The Hamers are a people of East Africa living in the south-western Ethiopia, in a fertile area of the Omo Valley. The Hamers are mainly farmers, livestock takes a very important part in their culture. They are semi-nomadic. They follow a route marked out by their ancestors, with many stops. During their long pauses, if the season allow it, they begin to agriculture, especially the cultivation of sorghum. The cattle is the main wealth of Hamer. The higher the flock, the higher the social status of the owners. The Hamers have developed a vocabulary to describe each color, every shape, size and coat of their livestock.
The gracious Hamer women, freeing pride and dignity even in the midst of the bustling weekly market, are easily spotted with their characteristic outfits. They take pride in their dress and accessories and win the prize as the most decorated of the Omo people. The traditional dress code for unmarried Hamar girls includes elegant cowrie-shell collars, seeded or glass-beaded necklaces and decorated goatskin clothing.
«If you have any brothers, the whole community will respect you, if you have a child, all your brothers will respect you». Ethiopian proverb
Hamer tribes, Omo valley
The Karos, with a population of about 1000-1500 live on the east banks of the Omo River in south Ethiopia. Their neighbors are the Hamar, Bana, Bashada, the famous Mursi and Nyangatom. The Karo grow sorghum, maize and beans. Karo use to paint body and decorate their face. They use white chalk, charcoal, ochre and red earth. Karo women scarify their chests to beautify themselves. The scarification of a man's chest shows that he has killed an enemy or a dangerous animal. The scars are done with a knife or razor blade and ash is rubbed into.
«There is a spiritual dimension in every relationship. When people meet, there's no coincidence, mind and wills are always behind it». Ethiopian proverb
Monastery of Oura Kidane Mehret, Lake Tana. Christianity is the most common religion in Ethiopia, practiced by 62.8% of the population.
St. George Church in Lalibela. Lalibela is a monastic city located 2630 meters above sea level on the southwest flank of the mountains of the former province of Lasta, in the present Amhara region in Ethiopia. Holy city of Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia, it is famous for its eleven medieval monolithic cave churches carved into the rock. The most famous is Bete Giyorgis (St. George's Church), eight centuries old.
Harar is now a bustling and commercial city. It almost looks like a large market, where various trades are grouped by areas: blacksmiths shops in the alleys near the gate of Buda, tailors close to the central market, a street that locals call makina guirguir because of the noise of old sewing machines. At the Maddie Dudu market, on the terraces overlooking the stalls of butchers, vultures and kites are waiting patiently for the end of the day to get to offal. Somali, Amhara and Oromo women display their goods like firewood, charcoal, on the ground. In front of the mill, a line of customers wait to grind their corn for 20 cents of birr per kilo.
In the old town, Harar
Inhabitant of the old town, Harar
Mosque in the old town. Harar, known as the fourth holiest city of Islam, numbers 102 shrines and 82 mosques, three of them date from the tenth century.
In the Bahir Dar market