The Hamer
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The Hamer

Cattle jumpers

Cattle jumpers

Unchain your mind in the south-western region of the landlocked country of Ethiopia by the fertile stream beds of the Omo River.

Explore. Expand. Experience. Take the leap and get to know the cattle jumping tribe called Hamer.
Snapshot

Snapshot

  • Region is Central Africa

  • Climate here is Tropical

  • The challenge here is Intense

  • This trip has been rated 5 by other travelers

Life

Life

Most of the Hamer tribe are cattle breeders. It marks the wealth of a family, provides food and has an important role in their tribal traditions. They are a tribe with unique rituals such as a cattle jumping ceremony that men go through in order to reach adulthood, whereupon young Hamer women get whipped to prove their love for their kinsmen.
Home

Home

The Hamer live in camps that include several related families. Their community live in tents arranged in a circle, while their cattle are brought into the center of the camp every night for protection.

Culture

Social Structure

A traditional Hamer household consists of a woman, her children, and a male protector. Each Hamer man protects more than one household, depending on the number of wives they have and their women’s relatives of which they must also take care of.

Religion

The majority of the Hamer practice animism beliefs. They perceive that all things—animals, plants, rocks, rivers, weather, human handiwork and perhaps even words—are animated, alive and possess a distinct spiritual essence.

Traditions

The Hamer are famous for their practice of body adornment and for wearing a multitude of colorful beads. Women wear heavy polished iron jewelry, with which they dress their necks. Their braided hair is also painted with ochre, and their arms are often decorated with traditional copper bracelets.

Language

Their language, Hamer, belongs to the South Omotic branch of the Afroasiatic language family.

Art

This tribe is well known for the production of colorful costumes, ornaments, body painting and iron jewelry.

Celebrations

They organize many colorful ceremonies characterized by music and dances, to celebrate major community events.

Bull Jumping Ceremony: This is the most important event in Hamer culture. It is the the rite which marks a passage of men from one age group to another.
Further knowledge

Further knowledge

Dimeka and Turmi are two principal settlements of Hamer, especially colorful and interesting to visit on the market days. Take your time to have this precious experience!



Photos credit / Emani Cheneke, Ethiopia