AFRICAN BODY DECORATION - BODY DECORATION
AFRICAN BODY DECORATION - AFRICAN DECORATION - VINTAGE CABIN DECOR.
African Body Decoration
Mursi woman with decorated clay lip-plate
Most Mursi women wear lip-plates as an aesthetic symbol of cultural pride and identity. They signify passage to womanhood/adulthood and are more frequently worn by unmarried and newly wed women. Contrary to popular opinion, anthropologists' accounts indicate that there is little or no connection between the size of a woman’s lip-plate and the size of her bridewealth (number of cattle and guns); and there is no evidence that the labret originated as a deliberate attempt to disfigure and make women less attractive to slave traders.
The Mursi number less than ten thousand and are one of the last groups in Africa where women still wear large wooden or clay plates in their lower lips. Mursi settlement near Mago River in southern Ethiopia’s lower Omo Valley.
Hamar bride II
Rare glimpse of a Hamar bride as she steps out for a brief moment from the house in which she has been confined during a three-month waiting period. A mixture of fresh cow butterfat, ground red ochre and tree resin is rubbed over the bride's entire body during this period. Hamar girls tend to marry at about seventeen. The bridewealth or payment made by the husband’s family to the bride's family generally consists of goats, cattle and guns. Forty-five cows were included in this particular arrangement. Photograph taken by invitation from the father (hamlet head) and with permission of the bride-in-waiting. Hamar hamlet in southern Ethiopia's lower Omo Valley.
vanishing cultures © david schweitzer
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