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Surroundings of Jinka, South Ethiopia - This Mursi woman wears the typical plate in her lower lip.
The Mursi (or Murzu) are a Sub-Saharan African nomadic cattle herder tribe located in the Omo valley in southwestern Ethiopia close to the Sudanese border. The estimated population of the Mursi is around 3900. Surrounded by mountains and three rivers, the home of the Mursi is one of the most isolated region of the country. Their neighbors include the Bodi, the Aari, the Banna, the Kara, the Bumi and the Chai. The Mursi have their own language, also called Mursi. Few are familiar with Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia, and their literacy level is very low. The religion of the Mursi tribe is classified as Animism, although about 15% are Christians.
The Mursi women are famous of wearing plates in their lower lips. The reason of this "ornament" is for avoiding to be catched as slaves. These lip discs are made of clay. Girls are pierced in the age of 15 or 16. They remove the plate when eating. Similar body ornaments are worn by the Suyá people, a Brazilian tribe.
Nikon D200, Nikkor 70-200mm VR@150mm, 1/640"@f4, RAW, ISO 100
wow, i have seen this sort of thing, may i ask sergio, why do they do this to themselves, i respect it totally.
But like Kenny i want to know how she eats, and what is he purpose for this?
i mean dos'nt it hurt once they start to stretch out her lips.
she looks like she isnt in any pain which is great.
love the colours, and like everybody has said you are propbably the best documentary photographer.
and i am glad to know you and your amazing work.
as always, an excellent photo! and thx for the explenation. but why did you cut the kid out? these fingers leed to questions. and why didn't you flash this time to lighten up the shadow on the eyes? let us learn from you ;-)