A stunning final visit to the Omo Valley….

franceleclerc

The Hamar (or Hamer) were the fourth and last tribe we visited on my trip to the Lower Omo Valley.  One of the largest tribal groups in the region (their number is estimated to be about 20,000), the Hamar is a peaceful and friendly tribe.  As with the other tribes of the area, the Hamar’s life centers on cattle and goats. But the Hamar also farm and they barter their surplus livestock and produce at the weekly markets in neighboring small towns.  The Hamar (as well as the Kara although they practice it a little differently) have a very distinctive ritual, a bull-jumping ceremony as a rite of passage for young men.  But more on this later.

Visiting the Hamar tribe was not easy for us.  It was at least a 3 hours ride from our camp to Turmi, where a weekly market was held, and when there were roads…

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I love this reluctant anthropologist’s (a photographer with a relentless commitment to observing and sharing human culture) blog. Here is another trip to the Omo valley I think you will all love….

franceleclerc

First I want to convey my heartfelt thanks to each of you who commented on my previous post.  I am new to blogging and this was really an amazing response.  I was particularly touched by comments from some Ethiopian readers.  It pleased me greatly that they were supportive of an outsider sharing photos of their beautiful country and people.

Reading all the comments also made me feel that I should introduce myself a little better.   I am not an anthropologist, nor an activist, nor a journalist though I often wish I were all three.  I don’t pretend to understand or endorse the various cultural practices I witness nor do I claim to depict fully people’s challenging daily lives.  I am a traveler and a photographer.  I care deeply about the people I photograph and I respect them.  I will try to bring attention to their particular plights if I think…

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