HAMER BULL JUMPING - THE QUEST TO BE A MAN
(Near Turmi, in Ethiopia's Omo Valley)
The Hamer is the Omo Valley’s largest tribe. It has a long and staunch history of tradition and ceremonies.
For young men, the bull jump is the gateway into manhood. The ultimate challenge. In this age-old ceremony, the male (normally around 15) is required to shave off most of his hair, strip naked and then run over the backs of six or more bulls, four times.
A successful attempt means the young man is given an AK-47 and is considered man enough to marry and raise a family.
The ceremony also involves females from the young man's family being ritualistically whipped, which shows their devotion to the young man - a process which can be quite confronting for outsiders.