Bull jumping

Deep in the Omo Valley of South Ethiopia, the Hamar tribe live in a large area, centred by the small dusty town of Turmi. They are the largest of Omo’s tribes, and live practically unchanged from how they would have lived hundreds of years ago. The Hamar tribe have many unique rituals such as their bull-jumping ceremony.

The bull-jumping ceremony, or bullah, is the rite of manhood for the Hamar tribesman. In order to prove himself a warrior, the young men must run across the backs of up to a dozen dozen cattle lined up without falling. If they succeed they can pass into manhood, and may also marry.

Throughout proceedings, the female members of the tribe sing and dance in an almost hypnotic and frenzied state. The women are routinely whipped by the men to prove their courage and accompany the jumper during the test. They are seen bleeding quite heavily from the wounds on their bodies.