Ethiopian Tribal Groups: The Hamar / Hammere


Figure 1.--This Hamar boy was photographed with his mud body painting. The Hamar live in Ethiopia's Omo valley. They are one of the vanashing tribes.

The Hamar / Hammere are a small tribe found in southwestern Ethiopia. They have been described as one of the vanishing tribes of the Omo Valley. They live in Hamer Bena woreda (district). This is a well-wattered fertile part of the Omo River valley. This is part of the ebub Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region. The Hamar are aeople still lrgely untouched by the modern world. They are for the most part pastoralists with a high value placed on livestock, especially cattle. A 1994 census reported a population of about 40,000 people. Very few members of the tribe have educations beyond the primary level. The language of the Hamer people is Hamer-Banna which is in the Afro-Asiatic language family. Hamer-Banna is an Omotic language and is primarly spoken in the Omo River Valley of Ethiopia by the Hamer tribe. Hamer boys traditionally wear mud body painting. An important Hamar tribal ritual is an initiation ceremony, the jumping of the bulls ceremony. One aspect of the ceremony is that the female relatives of the individual undergoing the bull-jumping test are whipped during the trial.






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Created: 7:19 AM 4/16/2009
Last updated: 7:20 AM 4/16/2009