“Hamer girl with gun – Omo Ethiopia. During bull jumping ceremony, Hamer girls act like men, and even more, to show that they do not fear anything. So they drink a lot, and they dance with guns. Very impressive ceremony!
The Hamar is a catlle herder tribe which lives on the Eastern side of the Omo Valley in Southern Ethiopia. Honey collection is their major activity and their cattle is the meaning of their life. There are at least 27 words for the subtle variations of colours and textures of a cattle ! And each man has three names: a human, a goat and a cow name.
The Hamar have very unique rituals such as a bull-leaping ceremony, that a young men has to succeed in order to get married. The cow jumping is an initiation rite of passage for boys coming of age in Hamar tribe. Cows are lined up in a row. The initiate, naked, has to leap on the back of the first cow, then from one bull to another, until he finally reaches the end of the row. He must not fall of the row and must repeat successfully the test four times to have the right to become a husband. While the boys walk on cows, Hamar women accompany him: they jump and sing. Totally committed to their initiated sons, the mothers are whipped to blood, in order to prove their courage and accompany their sons during the test”. (Photo and comment by Eric Lafforgue)