Visual Encyclopedia

Hamar people

The Hamar (also spelled Hamer) are an Omotic community inhabiting southwestern Ethiopia. They live in Hamer woreda (or district), a fertile part of the Omo River valley, in the Debub Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (SNNPR). They are largely pastoralists, so their culture places a high value on cattle.

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Hamar Ritual

"Ceremonial beatings take place during the male initiation rites but also in the home when the husband chooses Ritual beatings are carried out by a group of men called 'Maza', continue until the women's backs are left bloody Men and women from the Hamar tribe use thorns to create intricate scar patterns which are considered beautiful"

Contributed by Rachel Peterson

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