The Ethiopian Tribes & Culture of the Lower Omo Valley | GeoEx
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The Ethiopian Tribes & Culture of the Lower Omo Valley

By GeoEx Staff | February 28, 2019

GeoEx invited photographer Mariska van den Brink to accompany our Ethiopia: The Island of Africa trip for its visit to tribal lands in the country’s Lower Omo region. We had noticed that taking photos had become a challenging issue in the area. So intent on getting the best photos to commemorate this special experience, travelers often ended up focusing on the photos rather than on engaging with the local people. Conversely, the local people had begun to regard this interaction more as an opportunity to solicit money rather than as a chance for genuine intercultural exchange. To alleviate the resulting tensions, we welcomed Mariska along so that our guests could engage completely with the tribes and still have their interaction captured photographically, thus creating a more meaningful experience for both the guests and the locals. This was wildly successful, and the results—both human and photographic—were beautiful, as these images attest. We are happy to offer the addition of an accompanying photographer as an option on all of our trips!

The Journey Along the Lower Omo River

GeoEx travelers on a boat expedition on the Omo River.
GeoEx travelers on the Lower Omo River.

 

Boat expedition along the Omo River.
Boat expedition along the Lower Omo River.

 

The tribes' cattle on the shore of the Omo river, Ethiopia
The tribes’ cattle on the shore of the Lower Omo River.

 

Arriving on the banks of the Lower Omo Valley River, Ethiopia.
Arriving on the banks of the Lower Omo River.

 

Boat expedition on the Lower Omo River.

 

Meeting & Dancing with the Kara Tribe

GeoEx travelers meeting the Kara tribe, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Walking with the Kara tribe.

 

Kara tribe dancing in the afternoon sun, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Kara tribe dancing in the afternoon sun.

 

GeoEx traveler getting acquainted with young woman from the Kara tribe, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Connecting with dance, body language and, of course, laughter!

 

Kara man in full body paint, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Kara man in full body paint.

 

Kara women during body paint ceremony, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Kara women during body painting ceremony.

 

Kara man during body paint ceremony, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Kara man during body painting ceremony.

 

Kara women during body paint ceremony, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Kara women during body painting ceremony.

 

Dancing into the evening with the Kara tribe, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Dancing into the evening with the Kara tribe. 

 

Engaging with the Mursi Tribe

GeoEx travelers en route to visit the Mursi tribe, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
The journey continues onward to the next tribe visit.

 

Meeting the Mursi tribe, Omo Valley
Meeting the Mursi tribe.

 

GeoEx traveler grinding flour during visit to the Mursi tribe
Learning how to grind flour from the Mursi tribe.

 

Mursi Tribe, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Mursi woman preparing dough.

 

Mursi woman preparing dough, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Mursi woman preparing dough.

 

Mursi Tribe, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Woman from the Mursi tribe preparing greens.

 


Mursi woman cooking.

 

Mursi Tribe, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Traditional lip plates of the Mursi tribe.

 

Mursi Tribe, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Mursi woman crafting a traditional lip plate.

 

Mursi woman with traditional lip plate, Ethiopia
Mursi woman with traditional lip plate.

 

Mursi tribe, Omo Valley
Mursi woman with traditional lip plate.

 

Mursi tribesmen, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Mursi tribesmen.

The Welcoming Hamar Tribe

Hamar tribe, Omo valley, Ethiopia
Women and children of the Hamar tribe.

 

Hamar kids, Omo valley, Ethiopia
Children of the Hamar tribe.

 

Woman from Hamar tribe, Omo valley, Ethiopia
Woman from the Hamar tribe.

 

Meeting the Nyangatom Tribe

Greetings from the Nyangatom people.
Greeting the Nyangatom people.

 

Nyangatom Tribe, Omo Valley, Ethiopia
Greeting the Nyangatom people.

 

Nyangatom woman and children standing among their woven twig huts.
Nyangatom woman and children standing among their woven twig huts.

 

Comparing necklaces with the Nyangatom women.
Comparing necklaces with the Nyangatom women.

 

Learning traditions from the Nyangatom people.
Exploring with the Nyangatom children.

 

Blood-letting ceremony with the Nyangatom.
Bloodletting ceremony with the Nyangatom.

 

Blood-letting ceremony with the Nyangatom.
Bloodletting ceremony with the Nyangatom.

 

Child with tribe cattle.
Child with the tribe cattle.

 

Child with tribe cattle.

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To explore the options for your own Ethiopia adventure with GeoEx, give one of our trip designers a call at 888-570-7108.