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"Copyright © – Attila Szili.
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Before visiting Mursi's village, I was informed about the assault of the tourists at this tribe. The reason is evident. Of course, I was interested too but at only one condition. Since they're located in several villages and many of them far from the main paths and not easily accessible, I asked to visit one of these. Tourists are concentrated in the nearest village and like my guide said it's a kind of circus there, especially in the dry season. We agreed, if in the village we were going to visit would be one jeep more, the excursion would be gratis for me. He earned his money and I enjoyned the visit completely satisfied. Only four of us -my wife,the guide,an armed ranger and me- and the Mursi.
Mursi are considered one of the most fascinating tribes on earth and at the same time are appointed like thievers, savages, inhospitables and aggressive. During the three hours I was there, I didn't had this impression.

Some basic infos about Mursi people: nomadic cattle herders,with an estimated population of about 3900.
Surrounded by mountains between the Omo River and its tributary the Nino, the home of the Mursi is one of the most isolated region of Ethiopia.
What attracts visitors is definitely the clay made lip plate weared by Mursi women. There are several theories to explain the practice: the lip plates were used to deter slavers looking for unblemished girls, to prevent evil from entering the body through the mouth or to indicate social status by showing the number of cattles required by the wearer's family for her marriage. The first explanation seemes to be the most accredited among the local population. Nowadays the plate is used prevalently for ornamental purposes.
The plates are of different sizes depending of the lower lip's extension and that on the photo was the biggest one I've seen there. The diameter is of 15 cm.

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Additional Photos by Attila Szili (atus) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2069 W: 207 N: 4541] (15878)
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