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Monday, 11 April 2016

The Ethiopian Tribe That Turns Nature Into Fashion

By Stella WaAfrika



Work with what you have. I live and breathe these words and I think they're pretty much self explanatory.  This feature epitomizes these same words. Using nature to create statement  haute couture without any fancy resources like machinery but still they make the best of what they have.

Photographer Hans Silvester captured the ancient tribe of Surma and Mursi indigenous people of Omo Valley in Southern Ethiopia. They use natural raw materials such as, flowers, leaves among others to create their unique fashion, one we might never see on renowned fashion runways but hey....

About the Surma and Mursi tribe
According to Wikipedia, Surma is a panethnicity residing in South Sudan and southwestern Ethiopia. It includes the Nilo-Saharan-speaking Suri, Mursi and Me'en.

The term Surma is the Ethiopian government's collective name for the Suri, Mursi and Me'en groups that inhabit the southwestern part of the country, with a total population of 186,875. All three groups speak languages belonging to the Surmic branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family. Some authors have used the terms "Suri" and "Surma" interchangeably or for contradictory purposes.

All three peoples share a similar culture. Their homeland is remote, located in desolate mountains, and traditional rivalries with their tribal neighbors such as the Nyangatom have become quite bloody as automatic firearms have become available from the parties in the Sudanese Civil War. The police allow foreigners to travel there only with a hired armed guard.

They have a fierce culture, with a liking for stick fighting called Donga or Saginay bringing great prestige to men; it is especially important when seeking a brid and they are very competitive, at the risk of serious injury and occasional death. The males are often shaved bald, and frequently wear little or no clothes, even during stick fights.

From nature to raw haute couture








Photo Credit: Hans Silvester

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