Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mursi Tribe, Jinka, Ethiopia, December 11, 2015

There are 7500 Mursi living west of Mago National Park.  We visited a village, but unfortunately it wasn't as intimate or authentic feeling as yesterday.  They knew why we were there and even though we spent about 1 1/2 hours with them, all they were after was money.  We had to pay 5 birr (33 cents) to each person/photograph.

Women start cutting their lip and stretching it at around age 15.  Men find it attractive and expect their wives to wear the lip plate to family functions and especially at their wedding where she'll receive 38 cows if she does.  Plates are made of clay and can be up to 12 cm across!  If a woman doesn't want to wear the plate at her wedding, she only gets 30 cows. 

This woman's lip plate is out as well as her bottom 4 teeth (to make room for the plate).  She also has an interesting scar on her arm.  Scarring is apparently sensual for men.  Either a knife, stone, razor blade or hook is used to create the design, then ash is applied to create an infection which leads to scar tissue-

Women also stretch their ears, starting at age 5, and powdered clay is used for face decoration-

Kalashnikov rifles are brandished everywhere - at borders, police check points and in this village-

Now the woman on the left has removed her lip plate.  On the right, Mom didn't know her baby snuck into the picture so she didn't charge me.  You can see Poppy in the background getting molested.  The Mursi were very agressive, constantly saying "5 bir, 5 bir" and "photo, photo"-

Horns are worn to show pride in the fact either you've made the kill or someone in your family has-

More fancy dress-

The little kids were really cute- touching our jewellery, hair and bodies - giggling, playing and having fun.  For me, they were the only authentic beings of the day :(

Tomorrow it's an early start as we make our way south towards Kenya.

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