Thursday , 23 November 2017
Home / POP CULTURE / Meet The World’s Toughest Women…The Ethiopian Hamar Women Who Endure Severe Beatings With Thorns To Prove Their Strength  

Meet The World’s Toughest Women…The Ethiopian Hamar Women Who Endure Severe Beatings With Thorns To Prove Their Strength  

Rite: Hamar women dance themselves into a frenzy as they take part in a colourful ritualMove over Amazons, these are the new super women!

The backs of women belonging to Ethiopia’s Hamar tribe are covered with thick scars coloured dull red and black ; a sign of the legacy of an initiation rite that sees them beaten bloody.

No screaming is permitted by the men wielding the canes but the women don’t care. Instead of fleeing, they beg the men to do it again and again until blood flows, dripping into the gritty red dust of the Omo River Valley.

Now the Hamar and their unique culture that merges the beautiful and the brutal in equal measure are the subject of a series of incredible photographs created by French lensman, Eric Lafforgue.

Lafforgue travelled to Ethiopia after spotting pictures of the Hamar in a vintage book and hopes his photos will provide a record of a culture under threat from encroaching modernity.

His striking images reveal the beauty of Hamar women in their orange ochre make-up and bright beads, their skin scarred into intricate patterns using thorns, resilient as they live a life that’s precarious at best and brutal at worst.Homemakers: Women take on all of the domestic chores as well as childcare and the lion's share of sowing the sorghum crops the tribe needs to surviveBut not everything about the Hamar is troubling. For the Hamar, cattle are everything, and for the men, they form a key part of the rite that turns them from boy to man.

At cattle jumping ceremonies, young men are required to leap across 15 cows, smeared with dung to make them slippery.

If he fails, he cannot marry and will be beaten by the watching women. At the same ceremony, his female relatives are beaten to create a blood debt between the man and his sisters who show off their scars with pride.Brutal: Hamar women volunteer to be beaten by 'Maza' (initiated men) during their brothers' coming of age ceremonies. They show off their scars with prideHamar women volunteer to be beaten by ‘Maza’ (initiated men) during their brothers’ coming of age ceremonies. They show off their scars with pride. 

‘While the boys walk on cows, Hamar women accompany him: they jump and sing,’ reveals Lafforgue, who witnessed a ceremony.

‘The more abundant and extensive the initiate’s scars are, the deeper the girls’ affection is to the boy who is about to become a man.

‘Totally committed to their initiated sons, the mothers are whipped to blood, in order to prove their courage and accompany their sons during the test.’Pride: A Hamar woman shows off her scars, including some recently inflicted ones, as she takes part in village life alongside her fellow Hamer. The three necklaces she is a high status first wifeThis Hamar woman shows off her scars, including some recently inflicted ones. The three necklaces reveal that she is a high status first wife

But for Hamar women, beatings are not just part of an initiation ritual – they are daily life until at least two children have been born.

Under Hamar rules, a man need not explain why he’s delivering a beating. It is his prerogative to mete out as he sees fit.

Men can also have more than one wife, with junior wives left to do the lion’s share of the planting and water gathering.Tough girl: Like their men, Hamar women are expected to play a role in protecting the family cattle from rustlers and predatory wildlifeLike their men, Hamar women are expected to play a role in protecting the family cattle from rustlers and predatory wildlife

‘They do not have really the choice,’ says Lafforgue. ‘As [with] many women in Africa, they carry water, wood, take care of the food and the kids, while the men take care of the cows – the Hamar treasure.

‘Hamar men can have several wives,’ he adds.’The Hamar women who are not a first wife have a really hard life and they are more slaves than wives.

‘[But] seeing those women with their animal skins, their special hairstyles, and their body covered with this orange make up was fascinating.’HAMAR WOMEN-3Both men and women use orange make-up on their faces and bodies, in the men’s case with white paint in order to create a leopard-like effect
HAMAR WOMEN-4Both men and women have intricate designs carved into their skin using thorns (left) and share a love of colourful jewellery
Protection: This Hamar girl's battered old rifle contrasts starkly with her beauty and spectacular beaded necklace and headbandThis Hamar girl’s battered old rifle contrasts starkly with her beauty and spectacular beaded necklace and headbandWork: Hamar women are responsible for all domestic duties including fetching water, cooking, cleaning the home and looking after the childrenHamar women are responsible for all domestic duties including fetching water, cooking, cleaning the home and looking after the childrenHappy: Two friends take a break from their back-breaking array of chores and farm work to share a joke and a smile togetherTwo friends take a break from their back-breaking array of chores and farm work to share a joke and a smile togetherIntricate: A Hamar woman shows of her carefully braided hair and treasure trove of bright beads, shells and metal banglesA Hamar woman shows of her carefully braided hair and treasure trove of bright beads, shells and metal bangles
HAMAR WOMEN-2

Culled From: DailyMail UK

Also recommended for you to read:

Mysterious Islamic Tribe Where Women Have Sex With Different Men, Don’t Wear A Veil And Own Property

Comments

comments

About Peace

Peace is a wife and mother who reports and analyses global trends from the perspective of a Deeva; in the hope of invoking a thought process that will lead to a positive change.

Check Also

Tweet put out by West Midlands Ambulance Service. See NTI story NTINOTE; Ambulance staff treating a critically ill patient were left stunned when they received a furious note demanding they move - because they were blocking someone's DRIVE. The crew found the thoughtless note on their windscreen wiper after they had rushed a patient suffering a "major internal bleed" to hospital on Friday (10/11) afternoon. The note, written in capitals, reads: "You may be saving lives, but don't park your van in a stupid place and block my drive." Paramedics were treating a man who was vomiting up blood when the note was left on the ambulance in Small Heath, Birmingham, at around 4.30pm. It is understood that the patient was taken to the nearby Heartlands Hospital  In a tweet, West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "Sometimes we just don't know what to say. This was the note left on an ambulance today. n

Remember Ambulance That An Angry Neighbour Posted A Note On? The Patient They Were Trying To Save Died

The patient who paramedics battled to save while neighbours left a note moaning about the ...

What did you think?

%d bloggers like this: