As documentary photographer I traveled to the remote Omo Valley in Ethiopia to capture the traditional way of life of ancient tribes in a time of change.

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A massive hydro-electric dam is being built in the Omo river in order to support vast commercial plantations that are forcing the tribes away from their land. This will destroy a fragile environment and the livelihoods of the tribes, which are closely linked to the river and its annual flood.

Increasing tourism is also having a negative impact on their behavior. I had to pay for every single shot and very few were the opportunities for me to capture candid moments in their daily life. In the pursuit of photo- money women were piling pots, horns and flowers on their heads. Children were posing like experienced models and were offering body paint and dancing acts.

As globalization takes over, this unique part of the world could be fast disappearing.

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Hamar people rest under the shadow of a big tree

Hamar men paint their face before attending a Bull Jumping ceremony

Hamar women volunteer to be whipped as a sign of commitment for the young man taking part in the Bull Jumping ritual

Bulls are lined up side by side for the Bull Jumping ritual

Bull Jumping is a ceremony to determine whether a young Hamar male is ready to make the social jump from youth to adult, and is ready for the responsibilities of marriage, raising a family and owning cattle.

Tribal dance during the ceremony

The chief of the village is curious about my camera

Hamar men attending the ceremony

Hamar men celebrating after the ritual

Hamar Girl

Approaching the Dassanech Village

Dassanech Village

Only women and children in the village as men are away hunting

Dassanech girl

Old Dassanech Woman

Scars are signs of beauty

Dassanech Mother

Karo Tribe Village – Boys with painted face

The Omo river is a precious source of life for the Karo

Kara kids playing in the Omo river

Kara woman decorated with beads

The Karo women are known for their productive work and dedication to serving their families.

A proud decorated Karo man

Karo boy

On my way to a Mursi village

Mursi are tall and lean and have a reputation of aggressive people

Mursi Mothers

Tribal Beauty

Goatskin has always been a traditional clothing of Mursi

Morsi Girl with corn on the head

Mursi’s main food is a dry cereal prepared from ground maize or sorghum. Sometimes they add milk and animal blood, taken fresh directly from the wound on the neck of the cow

Mursi women are known for the huge ceramic plates that are inserted into their lower lips.

Piercing of the lower lip is performed on young girls who have reached the age of 12-13 y.o. Initially, a small wooden disk is inserted into the lip. Then its size is gradually increased, stretching the woman’s lip

Morsi woman with beads

Mursi boys

Travel helps me to get to know the world in such a way that cannot be learned at school or in front of the TV. By traveling i learn that no matter where i am people are people striving for the same things in life.. We may have different religions, languages, coloured skins, but we all belong to one human race.