Back to photo list

Hamer girls, Turmi, Ethiopia

Hamer girls, Turmi, Ethiopia
The picture above is taken automatically from, if there is something related to the picture please visit and contact
The Hamar are very preoccupied with their beauty. They have at times spectular haidresses.
Men use a wooden head rest which prevents the hair from touching the ground. You can see them walking with it everywhere ! It is used as head rest to protect the clay wig that some do on the top of the head, but it is also usefulas a seat ! Even if there is a chair close to them, they prefer to use the head rest !
Women know many ways to do their hair. The most famous hair style is when their hair is in short tufts rolled in ochre and fat or in long twisted strands. These coppery coloured strands are called "goscha", it's a sign of health and welfare.
They also wear bead necklaces, iron bracelets around their arms, and decorate their breast with lots of cowry shells, like a natural bra.
Around married women's necks, you can see "esente": torques made of iron wrapped in leather. These are engagement presents; they are worn for life and indicate their husband's wealth. One of the necklaces catch more especially the attention: it is called the "bignere". It's also an iron and leather ring, which has a phallic-shape end. But this jewelry can only be worn by a man's first wife.
I remember a woman I have met. On her neck, there were three necklaces. According to what I just explained about the bignere, the biggest one at the top means she was "First Wife". This is important, as her statut is the higher one in Hamer society. But as she has two more simple necklaces around her neck: that means her husband took two more wives... The Hamar women who are not first wife have a really hard life and they are more slaves than wives... During my trip, I could see some of these women, working like slaves for the men: their skin were covered with clay, butter and animal fat... So they were a little scary ! Another thing to know about these women: the more scars one has on her back, the higher is her status.
The young unmarried girls, for their part, wear a kind of oval shape plate, in metal. It is used like a sunshield, but it tends to be rare in the tribe. Some of them have fund their future husband, but have to wait in their house until the so-called prentender can provide all the money for the ceremony: he has to pay for all the cows the bride-to-be's family asks for. These girls are called "Uta" and have to wait three months, entirely covered with red clay... And no right to take baths or showers ! They cannot go out of the house, let alone the village.
© Eric Lafforgue
Date: 2012-10-06 16:59:02

Africa Color Day Dimeka East africa Ethiopia Hamar Hamer Horn of africa Looking at camera Necklace Omo Omo valley Outdoors Outside People Portrait Tribal Tribe Turmi Waist up Group of people tradition culture ethnology ethnic beads perle bead shell cauri Hamer Bena woreda Traditional Clothing Traditional Culture wall Colored Background pastoralist Southern Nations Nationalities and People's Region SNNPR Animal Skin color image real people Square African Ethnicity photography Headband red ochre ethiopian ethnicity Confidence Semi-Dress green background tassel 8097

Visit :


Amazing portrait & edition !!!!!!!!!!
Many congrats :)
Guib_Did 2012-10-06 17:16:26
You do such wonderful work, Eric... and the detailed stories are the icing on the cake. These are some very lovely women, indeed!
SouthernBreeze 2012-10-06 17:52:36
Excellent portrait.
Jimmydflint 2012-10-06 17:55:24
Bo_Mar 2012-10-06 17:59:38
very nice
sacipere 2012-10-06 18:09:40
sempre delle serie stupende
celestino2011 2012-10-06 18:16:53
wat een uitstraling!
hans solcer 2012-10-06 19:32:20
Wonderful portrait!
perfectdayjosep 2012-10-07 11:23:45
That is a beautiful shot!
lilishu 2012-10-08 04:46:10
Passie13(Ines van Megen-Thijssen) 2012-10-08 09:14:16
Such a great shot, the jewelry is amazing!
Maxi Winter 2012-10-09 13:50:46
Thanks for the interesting story and photos.
Elena ZP 2012-10-09 17:05:29
stunningly beautiful women and decoration. Again, a fascinating caption - should be published in the National Geographic
Carlo J. Roberto 2012-10-11 10:25:31
I agree...National Geographic! I love your information on the women and their lives. Are the ones above married?? Now, they do look quite rich to me with all those beads and decor. Love the hides. They make such good use of nature. This is an amazing trio of women, Eric. Thanks so much for sharing them and educating us. That's so important!! angie from FL (Adm) (Note: 2 images a day may be posted)

angie from FL (Adm) (Note: 2 images a day may be posted)

"Hi, my name is Angie aka Justabird2, and I am an Administrator of Howard and Caz's Gallery. Only exemplary work on a Platinum Level is invited. If approved your image will take a permanent seat of honor amongst the finest of Flickr images. That is what makes HCG different and unique to Flickr. I thank you very much for your time and consideration. Angie, (Adm)"
Justabird2 (more off then on :) 2012-10-12 14:57:09
wonderful portrait!
cetch1 2012-10-12 15:25:07
So beautiful, Eric! Your work reflects your spirit!! :) Thank you very much for responding to my invitations...I do appreciate that very much, not to mention your very hard, emotional work!! Take care, stay well, be happy!! angie from FL (Adm)

"Your image is very welcomed in HCG, where only Platinum Level images are accepted. Yours is quality work that reflects your skill and talent in photography and art. I thank you very much for adding to the spirit of Howard and Caz's Gallery as you have made it even richer with your presence. Can't wait to see more of your work! Angie,(Adm) of HCG" (2 images a day are allowed to be posted)

Justabird2 (more off then on :) 2012-10-12 15:32:56
So colorful and festive. Wonderful shot!

Exceptional shot that deserves to be seen among the most beautiful images on Flickr. Thank you for making Howard & Caz's Gallery richer with your photo. You have made this Gallery truly special with it's presence…………Phil (LM)

Philip Kuntz 2012-10-12 19:01:32
NaPix -- (Time out) 2012-10-12 23:12:06
Phenomenal shot that deserves to be shown as your skill is so apparent. Thank you for making `Howard and Caz`s Gallery richer with your photo as you have made this Gallery truly special with is presence………Christina (M)

Christina Port 2012-10-13 08:50:23
This photo is just wonderful and deserves to be shown here as your skill has shone through in this photo. I would like to thank you for adding a touch of class to the Gallery with your work, and for having the standard required to be accepted to the Platinum level…………. Just stunning....Caz (Art Director)
aquatic wheel 2012-10-13 09:22:49
Phenomenal shot that deserves to be shown as your skill is so apparent. Thank you for making `Howard and Caz`s Gallery richer with your photo as you have made this Gallery truly special with is presence……… Maria (Moderator)

SunStones* 2012-10-13 11:59:44
Passie13(Ines van Megen-Thijssen) 2012-10-14 09:24:56
[] Are the ones above married??

No. The engaged women have a neck ring. They married two neck rings. And first wife three neck rings.
Haabet 2012-10-19 15:53:07
Fantástico retrato con una luz magistral y unos ojos maravillosos.
Mr.Grij. + 1.200.000 views Thanks 2013-04-04 11:39:00

Members of | Joint with
Powered by | Promoted by

Visit Archipelago Country, A Tropical Paradise In The World : and