Karo tribal woman with back scars by Chris Rainier

Karo tribal woman with back scars

Omo Valley, southern Ethiopia: Karo boys earn initiation into manhood by running naked across the backs on a herd of bulls. If a boy falls, the status of his family falls with him. As the ritual proceeds, mother, sisters, and wives-to-be whip their own backs with thorn branches to show their support and draw the blood meant to focus the initiates' attention. The scars are a lifelong testimony to the proud day their boys became men.
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