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Mursi Woman by Sergio Pessolano

Mursi Woman


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23.04.2006 at 22:46h
, License: All pictures © by the senders.
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


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Karin D. Ludwig, 23.04.2006 at 22:52h

Sergio - another gallery pic!

Mircea Tiron-Tudor, 23.04.2006 at 22:53h

Very good documentary photo.Expresive face, no pain.
Regards, Mircea

Dennis Maloney, 23.04.2006 at 23:08h

Another great-one...You are my documentary photographer of the got my regards, den

Marguerite L., 23.04.2006 at 23:18h

What a picture! Great documetary value!
Grüessli Marguerite

Abdul Khaliq, 23.04.2006 at 23:27h

Once more, great documentary.

Kenny Jazz, 23.04.2006 at 23:46h

Wonderful pic !
I cant believe in that... I wonder how she eat with this thing and what is a main purpose of this unit.

D. Ynoche, 23.04.2006 at 23:57h

I agree with Dennis Maloney = you ARE one of the best! and I love to see your pics. thanks for let us participate... tanti saluti D.

Jaime Crystal Maksoud, 24.04.2006 at 0:20h

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.

Stuart Borland, 24.04.2006 at 1:33h

One amazing doughnut. Homer will be envious.

Jaime Crystal Maksoud, 24.04.2006 at 2:28h

thankyou sergio for telling us about her.
regards and you are a great man.
jaime :)

Carlos Santa Maria, 24.04.2006 at 3:09h

Outstandind photo and great piece of information.

Jutta Washington, 24.04.2006 at 4:58h

A wonderful photo and very interesting information about this tradition.Thank's for sharing with us Sergio.

Nyo Pu, 24.04.2006 at 5:38h

Amazing! It is valuable knowledge for me.
Thanks, np

Ulrich Fleischer, 24.04.2006 at 5:51h

again a great docu !
regards Uli

Fernando 8, 24.04.2006 at 6:27h

no por vista deja de ser impresionante..saludos.

Jeanette Atherton., 24.04.2006 at 7:43h

Great Portrait, it´s intresseting to see what kind of tradition there are in the World, you always bring them to us with your pictures. thanx

Philomena Hammer, 24.04.2006 at 7:51h

This picture is excellent as allways. It becomes even more interesting by your explanation, thank you.

Peter Kis kalóz, 24.04.2006 at 8:27h

Amazing picture! Thank you for your explanation!
Regards, Peter

Cees Kuijs, 24.04.2006 at 9:48h

What an excellent portrait again, Sergio. Just amazing. Also many thanks for the explication about the disk.
Greetings, Cees

Roxana Lämmlin, 24.04.2006 at 11:30h

again a great photo! but how do they (the girls) feel about this piercing, which is for the whole life. i suppose it must be seen quite natural.



Allan Thompson, 24.04.2006 at 15:13h

This was something I always wondered about ,thank you for explaining .Wonderful photo and text.You are helping to educate others and bring us closer together!!!

Sarah Burg, 24.04.2006 at 17:08h

Fascinating foto and explanation, thank you, Sarah

Valfoto, 24.04.2006 at 17:25h

Thanks Sergio

Sissi Blume, 24.04.2006 at 21:14h

Great work!

Ron Couwenberg, 24.04.2006 at 21:37h

wow, this one is very special.

Victor Servián, 24.04.2006 at 22:46h

Gran trabajo. Una foto fantastica.

Dominic Falcone, 24.04.2006 at 23:06h

Great pic Sergio, I recall having seen and read about these lip plates that certain tribes use for decoration, I did not know that they did it to avoid slavery!
Anyhow wonderful work.

Jan Van Der Hooft, 24.04.2006 at 23:50h

Wonderful shot of people
Gr Jan

Esther Scheelings, 25.04.2006 at 0:06h

What a amazingly great portrait again!!! Well done Sergio.
I used to hate history on school. But those stories are old but so interesting....keep on comming! Have a great journey!

Mark Johnston, 25.04.2006 at 6:55h

It surely is a wide world, thanks for sharing what you see.
Another great shot.
How is the digital treating you? Worth the switch?

Véronique Soulier, 25.04.2006 at 7:31h

nice pic and very interesting comment, you're really a great reporter.. thanks Véronique

Tomma Petcuscatti, 25.04.2006 at 13:32h

mamma mia :s


Tatiana Kirillova, 25.04.2006 at 15:11h

Thank you, Sergio, for always interesting pictures from which you can learn a lot. This one reminds us how different beauty standards are in different cultures...

Christian Knospe, 25.04.2006 at 17:46h

verry intersting documentary. great work like all the others.


John Holmes, 25.04.2006 at 19:13h

super image and explanation. thanks. jh

Günther Pichler, 26.04.2006 at 11:19h

bellissima foto, veramente eccezzionale!
pur tuttavia la prima cosa che mi é venuto in mente: "please insert disc 2" :)

saluti dall'alto adige

Tony Jury, 26.04.2006 at 14:18h

excellent photo. Those plates must be a pain to live with eating and even talking must be a effot.

Eddie Maguire, 27.04.2006 at 11:35h

It is an education looking in on your work. Faultless, stunning photography.

Christian Fuerst, 28.04.2006 at 12:47h

terrible, and how is she going to eat? kissing may not be known there and not popular, I suppose.

excellent Pic.

Daniel Avasilichioaei, 29.04.2006 at 18:12h

An excellent documentary-portrait...

Dennis Veldman, 29.04.2006 at 23:10h

fantastic photograph Sergio!
was she carrying a child on her hip?

Viki Hae, 30.04.2006 at 2:48h

una tradizione molto differente.
una grande documentazione!

Frank Cecconi, 30.04.2006 at 16:06h

A fascinating subject and a great capture; beautiful rich colours + an interesting background story to match.

frank c

Milan Bystron, 1.05.2006 at 13:07h

Wow! Excellent portrait! Very good work Sergio ...

Dietmar Eckell, 1.05.2006 at 18:11h

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 ;-)

Istvan Stefan, 2.05.2006 at 22:52h


Vitor Emanoel, 6.05.2006 at 15:35h

Interesting eyes...The second Mursi girl with oriental looking eyes. Is this a caracteristic all of them have?
Great shot. Ciao

Wilhelm H., 13.02.2007 at 0:37h

Great picture, painful procedure (life)

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