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The Mursi Tribe

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Allison Sam

on 21 February 2014

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Transcript of The Mursi Tribe

The Mursi Tribe
Class Structure
Unique Customs and Rituals
Tribe Evolution
Works Cited
around the age of 14-16, the young Mursi girls have their bottom lips cut and a wooden or clay plug, the dhebi or tugoin, inserted into the wound to keep it from healing and closing up
many of the Mursi people are Animists
they believe in plants, animals, and some inanimate objects possessing spirits
animism- belief that natural objects, natural phenomena, and the universe itself possess souls.
By Allison Sam and Audrey Vang
very fond of herding cattle which is a symbol of wealth and the status of a man, and are commonly given as gifts for marriage
the cut is usually made by another woman in the tribe, usually the girl's mother, and larger plugs are constantly added to expand the hole and make it bigger, and some can be up to 12 inches in width
razor blades are used to make complex patterns in their hair
almost every man carry a fully operating machine gun (Kalashnikov)
many of the once famous and ferocious Mursi warriors are now often found drunk
they now welcome photography although they do demand a high price for taking the pictures
Mursi men were known for making incisions in their skin to show that they were fierce warriors
Family Structure
food - thick porridge made from sorghum flour, or local coffee brewed from coffee bean peel

men from tribes duel with dueling sticks called a donga
annual rainfall decreasing from about 800mm to 400mm
climate is semi-arid
Live in Omo valley in Southern Ethiopia
raise lots of cattle for food and
the shade created is a symbol of a mother protecting her baby from the sun's ray
they have goat skin to sit on and cotton cloth stretched out on two dueling sticks to make shade
when one wins, they are surrounded by girls from their mother's tribe
allows Mursi men to get married
Mursi build houses from materials such as thatch, river reeds, branches,and sticks
in the peak of a drought the Mursi dig holes to reach underground water or they may drink the blood of their cattle
Methods of Survival
temperatures in the valley range from 10-40 degrees Celcius
men always have a higher position then women
position achieved by their personal qualities and skills
formally defined position is the priest (inherited office)
when a priest dies he is taken to his hut and his successor stands outside the door blowing a horn to signal people to arrive
priest's cows driven to his hut and many animals killed
dig grave heir goes in and they cut goat's blood onto heir
corpse is buried with sewn cow hide and is laid down head facing the Omo at which the Mursi made their first crossing
pick priest based on character if have bad character then he would instead curse people
the white painting stand for their status rank, and relations
15% of population is chistianity
wear necklace made of human bone and nails release a moldy smell and rub themselves with dissolved human fat to protect against vermin that causes diseases
if during cut lip snaps in half then is disgrace no marry
can be called Mursu
protective decorative clothes
farm by terraces
in order to be eligible to own cows, get married and have kids they must pass the bull leaping ceremony

20 cows are lined up and they have to make four clean run over the back of the cows without failing
Men are gashed on their right arm and women are gashed at their left arm
the women were very fashionable and poised with headdresses that represented nature and showed the beauty around them
Warriors have horse shaped scars
this marks them as a man
Woman wear their lip plate for only a small amount of time because it is heavy and uncomfortable
Full transcript