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Hamer

The Hamer are pastoralists (shepherds) in South Ethiopia. They are best known for their tradition of "bull jumping," which transforms a boy into an adult man. The boy must run at least four times (corresponding to the four teats of an cow udder) back and forth across the backs of a row of bulls in this ceremony - a pretty exhausting and stressful endeavor) . 

Female relatives (from the father's side) dance for hours during this ceremony and get whipped from men who have recently been initiated. Remaining scars on their backs are proudly presented afterwards.

More info about the Hamer people here.

If you want to see a larger version of the pictures just click on it or contact me!

A mixture of butter and red ocher (natural clay earth pigment) is used to style hair

Flying Hamer hair during dancing


Bells tied to the legs are used during dancing ceremonies

Technology (i.e., cell phones) is coming into Hamer villages


Women during a dance ceremony: jumping is an important part


Bells fixed to the legs are used as music instruments


Whipping is part of the bull jumping ceremony
(old scares mixed with new injuries)


Whipping during the bull jumping ceremony


Whipping is part of the bull jumping ceremony 
(old scares mixed with new injuries)


Traditional 'decoration' of aunts during the bull jumping ceremony


Family members preparing for the main event: bull jumping


At least four times a boy has to jump across the backs of a row of bulls 


A boy turns into a man during the bull jumping ceremony


Exhausting business - running across the backs of a row of bulls 




A typical traditional Hamer home


A gate of a Hamer property


Goat BBQ Hamer style


Young Hamer girl with traditional loincloth


Hamer elder with traditional hairstyle


Goat on a stick - Hamer-style grilling


Decorating legs with goat poop - why not!?!

Hamer men start dancing


Heating water for the local beer


Hamer women tries to touch a man to indicate she is interested in him


Hamer-typical beaded necklaces


Hamer women get ready to dance


Traditional dance: jumping men - approaching women


Traditional dance: jumping men - approaching women


Traditional dance: jumping men - approaching women


Goat meat almost ready to eat

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