Turmi and the Bull Jumping Ceremony

It was time for the highlight of our South Omo Valley trip- the wedding ceremony of whipping girls and jumping bulls. We had spent the day at the Turmi marked seeing Hammer handicrafts and people in traditional clothing(just some leather clots, not covering much!) and been prepared of what was to come.

The Hammer marriage ceremony took place around a 3km walk from the village and started off with women being whipped until we would see their raw flesh dripping with blood. All of them with a intense euphoric look in their eyes, blowing horns and shouting in rhythm.

Apparently these women were friends and family of the groom who, in this way, wanted to show how far they were willing to go for the soon to be bride.

The test if the groom was to jump over some bulls ranging from small calfs to fully grown ones. After jumping over all of them four times the groom had proven himself ready for marriage and the whole group of people would walk for many kilometers to their village where the party would go on.

Before the bull jumping, the groom sits down, gets face painted and given a new name to be called by

The bull jumping ceremony is one of my rawest tribal experiences and I have already decided to come back to Southern Omo Valley to learn more about traditions and cultures of these tribes.

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