Africa Tour Operators

Tsemay Tribe Ethiopia

Also written as Tsamai, these people live in the semi-arid area of the Omo Valley.  The people are agro-pastoralist who survive on their livestock and agriculture.  Among the Commonly cultivated crops here are sorghum, millet plus cotton plantation all irrigated by River Weyto.

Similar to the Hamer tribe, the boys of the Tsemay have to effectively complete an event of bull jumping.  During this ceremony the boy runs over several bulls.  In case the boy makes it across 4 times without falling, then he is declared to be a man.  To confirm a boy has completed the bull jumping, he is dressed up with a band which has feathers on it.  It is put on his head to show that he is actually looking for a potential wife.

In contrast to other tribes in Ethiopia, these Tsemay have organized weddings where The parents of the “bride” choose who she will actually marry whether she accepts or she doesn’t.  Despite the fact that the marriage is set up, the man should nevertheless be in a position to manage to pay for his wife.  The accepted Payment includes cattle, coffee beans, honey plus grain.  The Women of this tribe, that aren’t married, put on a short leather skirt having a v-shaped apron affixed.  The Married women put on long dresses made from leather having an apron which covers their front as well as back side. Tsemay men are seen carrying small wooden-stools on which they sit.