Africa Tour Operators

The Mursi Ethiopia

The Mursi are an ethnic nomadic cattle keeping group found in the Debub Omo Zone in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (SNNPR) part in Ethiopia, near the Sudanese border. Based on the 2007 country’s census, in number they were estimated to be 7,500.

These Mursi people are the most famous in the Omo Valley.  They are renowned for their distinctive lip plates.  They are found around River Omo and within Mago National Park.  Because of the climate, they relocate two times a year in between the winter months and the summer months.  They keep cattle as well as cultivate crops across the banks of River Omo.

Mursi women do paint their bodies as well as face in a color white.  They are, in addition the ones that wear lip plates. The Mursi Women could get their lips cut at Fifteen or Sixteen years old.  A tiny clay plate is inserted into the cut lip.  As years go by, larger plates are placed into their lip resulting in it stretching.  The bigger the clay plate, the greater the woman is truly worth before she’s married.  It’s alleged that these clay plates were initially used to protect against capture by the long ago slave traders.  Even though very distinctive and a section of their tradition, the women of the Mursi tribe only put on these plates for a small amount of time since they’re very heavy and not comfortable.

The Mursi Men likewise use white paint on their faces plus bodies. Similar to other native ethnic tribes within the lower valley, these men have to pass an evaluation before they get married.  The Mursi man is offered a stick known as a Donga and should face an opponent.  The men battle out, beating one another with these sticks.

The fighter who first submits loses and then the winner is taken on by a band of women to find out who he will in fact marry.  The Men as well practice scarification.  Similar to other tribes, this involves markings on his body to indicate the number of enemies he has killed.

Even though they are recognized to be hostile and combative, these Mursi are beyond happy to permit you to take their pictures.  Nonetheless, they count each picture you take and they will charge you for every picture.