Prayers Spoken in Lalibela
The holy city of Lalibela in northern Ethiopia is considered to be the 8th wonder of the World. Many pilgrims travel here to visit the 11 monolithic churches that were carved from rock in the early 13th century. This man appears to hold both devotion and awe in his eyes as prayers were recited at the Church of St. George in the midst of hundreds of devotees.
The Omo River Valley Tribes in Southern Ethiopia
Mursi Tribal Woman
The Mursi tribal women in southern Ethiopia pierce their lower lip in their early 20’s and progressively stretch it over the course of a year. A clay disc indented like a pulley wheel is squeezed into the hole of the lip. As it stretches, ever-larger discs are forced in until the lip, which has become a loop, is so long that it can extend over the woman’s head! The women make the lip plates from clay, and color them with ochre and charcoal, then bake the lip plates in a fire. The size of the woman’s lip plate will determine the bride price. A large lip plate may bring 50 head of cattle to this woman and her family.
Hamar Rainbow Woman
I took this photograph at an outdoor market in Southern Ethiopia where this woman was selling a few spices displayed on a small cloth. Hamar tribal women are known for their unusual hairstyles that are shaped with a mixture of butter and ocher. They are decorated with cowrie shells and when married, wear a tight fitting ornament around their neck until the end of their life.
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