The Hamar, untouched tribe from “never colonized” country, Ethiopia

Cultures of The Hamar People remained unchanged because the country has not been colonized before despite the occupation of Italians in 1936. The Italians were later chased away.

The Hamar (alternatively spelled as Hamer) is a Southwestern Ethiopian Omotic tribe. They live in Hamer woreda (or district), a fertile part of the Omo River valley, in the Southern Nations , Nationalities, and Peoples Region (SNNPR) Debub Omo Zone. They are mostly pastoralists, so the cattle are highly regarded in their tradition.

The Hamar are filled with beautiful “bull jumping” tradition which introduces a boy into manhood.

The first is to dance and allow female relatives to be whipped by the newly initiated men; this shows their love for the initiate and their marks give them an opinion about who they marry.

Twice over the back of the row of bulls or castrated steers the boy must run back and forth, and is mocked if he fails.

Cow-jumping initiation ceremony

Hamer Bena’s assistant administrator, Ato Imnet Gashab, said only seven tribespeople have had high-school education completed.

Mingi is the state of being impure or “ritually tainted” within the religion of the Hamar and associated tribes. 

A person, often a boy, who was regarded as a mingi, is killed through forced permanent separation or drowning in the river or being left alone in the jungle.


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