We are at Turmi, in Southern Ethiopia, we will spend a few days here; this will be our base for visiting the Omo Valley and getting to know some populations who live here.

Yesterday we met the Kara, or Karo; today, however, it will be entirely dedicated to the Hamer, one of the largest populations living in this part of the country.

This morning we will visit a Hamer village while, this afternoon, we will have the luck to attend the bull jumping ceremony; a rite of passage to which every Hamer boy must undergo in order to become an adult and be able to marry.

After breakfast we leave by our car and, driving along secondary roads, we arrive at a Hamer village lost in the savannah.

The Hamer are a quiet and hospitable population and it is a pleasure to meet them, not only in the village, but also around Turmi; unfortunately they do not speak English, many only speak their tribal language, otherwise I am sure it would be nice to chat with them.

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We get out of our car and a Hamer boy comes to meet us, he will be our local guide who will lead us to the village and let us discover more of his tribe.

The Hamer have many uses, habits and traditions in common with the Banna and the Kara, although they do have some differences.

The Hamer women are easily recognizable by their hairstyles: they have a sort of bob made of braids on which they apply ocher, resin and butter or water to make them red.

In the village there are several huts that are built with wooden poles to make the walls and the straw for the conical roof.

Every Hamer man can have up to 3 wives, each wife has her own hut, where she lives with her children; each hut and the related enclosure for the cattle are surrounded by an external enclosure.

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Today at the village a party is taking place, we have not understood if they are celebrating a wedding or a funeralsince the festivities, that involve the whole village, are substantially the same.

In the case of a funeral, many days of celebration are made based on the age of the deceased; for the elderly they get to celebrate even for a month, for the young much less.

The deceased is buried outside the village, but first the Hamer shoot several shots in the air with the Kalashnikov to greet him for the last time and to express their affection for him.

After the burial, the party begins: they kill several goats that roast over a fire, drink corn beer and sorghum or grappa while some sing or dance.

The Hamer do not celebrate particular religious rites, they say they believe a deity exists but do not pray to it.

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When they have to take important decisions, they gather in the family hut, discuss for a long time and drink tea made with the skins of the coffee beans we had seen at the market; they offered us this kind of tea, it smells like coffee, but the taste is much more watered down, but it's not bad.

From the social organization point of view the Hamer are divided into clans, each clan has a leader, usually an elder.

We really enjoyed visiting this Hamer village because they welcomed us in a very friendly way, it is a pity we couldn't talk because of the language barrier; many argue that the Hamer are among the most peaceful populations of the Omo Valley and that they are more inclined to visits, in fact we felt well received.

We greet them and return to our hotel for lunch, but our experience with the Hamer is not over; this afternoon we will attend the Bull Jump.

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Data di inserimento: 
Friday, September 20, 2019