(ORDO NEWS) — You hardly thought, but on the same planet with us live people who are far from modern concerns. They deeply revere the traditions of their ancestors and perform rituals that scare away all tourists.
Summer in the Omo Valley, in Ethiopia, is quite spectacular: in June and July, local tribes celebrate the new lunar year of Bodi. In our understanding, a holiday is always dances, music, festivities. But not in Africa.
A few months before the celebration, single men leave to live in isolation and gain excess weight. Every day, volunteers have to drink as much full-fat milk and cow’s blood as possible.
Having earned obesity, men return home to compete for the title of the fattest man: each clan represents its champion. The winner gets everything – glory and the opportunity to find the best bride.
The Mursi people are famous for their unusual tradition, which has been supported by the women of the tribe since ancient times.
At a young age, girls pierce their lips with wooden pegs, then insert ceramic plates (dhebi a tugion): first smaller, and then larger in diameter.
When the skin is stretched to the desired size, a disk up to 25 cm wide is placed in the puncture. Researchers are still arguing what the purpose of the strange custom is.
According to the popular version, a girl’s lip is cut when she is ready to get married. And the size of the plate in older women can speak of status and wealth.
Beauty contest for men
At the end of the rainy season, the Wodaabe tribes celebrate fertility and hold the so-called “Festival of Nomads”. The event is more like a beauty contest for men.
Shepherds and herdsmen dress in bright clothes, paint their faces with ocher, line their eyes and lips with black clay, and put on headdresses with feathers.
Then the young participants stand in line for a long time, waiting for their finest hour: the young men will have only a few minutes to go out and dance in front of the gathered women.
During the ritual, it is necessary to smile as much as possible and open your eyes wide – this is the only way to show all your masculinity.
At the end of the performance, the judges, in the person of the girls, choose the best men with whom they will spend the night.
Coming of age initiation
Young boys of the Hamar tribe, having reached the age of majority, do not arrange loud parties and do not order pizza. Instead, they publicly demonstrate the strength of the body and spirit.
Before the ceremony, several bulls are lined up in a row. The task of the boy is to run completely naked four times over the backs of animals. Only after the race does the community recognize him as a man and allow him to marry. There is no room for error here: if you fall, you are disgraced forever.
Let’s digress from Africa and move to the Republic of Fiji. If someday you manage to visit the archipelago and look into the village to the locals, be sure you will be greeted hospitably.
Get ready to take part in the welcome ceremony and try intoxicating drink – kava. Previously, kava, made from the roots of the pepper plant of the same name, was used for traditional ceremonies, but over time, the drink “socialized”.
Now locals offer it to literally all tourists. Refusing impolite – you have to drink. When the ceremonial bowl is served to you, tap the table once and drink all the spicy liquid at once, then tap again.
Surely everything will go smoothly, but after a minute you will understand what the catch was. Kava has properties that cause short-term numbness of the tongue.
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