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Monday, February 16, 2009

Brent Stirton - Omo Valley Tribes

Brent Stirton took some amazing photographs of the Omo Valley Tribes in Ethiopia:
In the sprawling, desolate Southern Omo River Valley region of Ethiopia are several tribes living as they have for centuries, in voluntary isolation from the modern world. Recently, however, the tribes -- Dassanech, Mursi, Hamar, Karo, Bume, Beshadar and others -- are under increasing pressure from the outside world. Most recent is the Omo River dam project to provide hydroelectric power to Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. This will reduce the river to one-fifth its size and eliminate the flood plain so valuable to Omo Valley tribal farmers. The geographically distant government in Addis Ababa appears to place little importance on the threat to these unique Omo Valley cultures, and the days of their existence as intact cultures are numbered.

My trip to the region was two weeks in duration, starting midway through December 2007. The purpose of the trip was to make color portraits as part of a worldwide project on diminishing/disappearing cultures...
Check out his travel blog on the Discovery Channel, and the rest of his great portfolio here.


  1. Hi!
    I was wondering if you happen to know anything about their paint traditions.. what the symbols of their body art means?

    my email is rmalekan763@g.rwu.edu
    Please, if you do know and could help me out with my research that would be a tremendous help! Thank you!

  2. For more information about the Omo Valley, visit www.omovalley.com


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