“An Omo ‘clock’ is a string with knots tied to indicate the number of sunsets before a ceremony.”
In the Hamar Mountains we will search for “Bull Jumping Ceremonies” – these are the rights of passage for young men to pass into adulthood. The women are absolutely beautiful with their long braided hair – and all so proud of the welts and scars that mark their lower backs. The scars are a symbol of a woman’s strength, love and devotion to the initiate.
With the Karo we will see absolutely amazing and beautiful body art of white and yellow clay covering semi naked bodies. There is tremendous care and pride taken as they adorn themselves in preparation for the incredibly provocative dancing that will unfold in the evenings. The closely related Kwegu, practice amazing decorative body scarification, where small incisions are made in the body skin with a sharp blade, making a flap where fire ash is rubbed into the wound to make a permanent welt or scar.
You will also visit Nyangatom homesteads (meaning “elephant eaters”) the most warlike and feared of all Omo tribesmen. Then there are the Mursi – where the women practice some of the most profound forms of body adornment in the world – inserting a seven-inch diameter clay plate into their lower lips.