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Transcript of Hamar Tribe
Taylor Ruggiero & Heather Heinemann The Hamar Tribe or Hamer tribe live in the southern
Ethiopia in the Omo Valley. Location The Hamar have always lived in Ethiopia,
they have never been forced to move. Although,
the tribe does constantly battle with nearby tribes for land and livestock. The Hamar tribe has been around for centuries. History Tribal Role: Men Tribal Role: Women Government & Rites of Passages Ethiopia is governed by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). This group has tried to intervene and stop the Hamar's "barbaric" rituals. They tried to cease the whipping and beating of the Hamar women. Marriage Religion The Hamar tribe's original religion is Muslim. In fact, 90% are Sunni-Muslim. They observe the five basic teachings of Islam (Allah being the only god, praying, fasting, giving to the poor, and making pilgrimage to Mecca). However, in practice they are animists. Animists believe plants, animals, and possibly inanimate objects hold spirits which have supernatural powers over human beings Day to Day Life Day to Day Life Reflections Customs our culture will most likely not accept Bull Jumping Ceremony Reflections Relfections The Hamar Tribe are mainly pastrolists (along with semi-nomadic), tending cattle which their entire society depends on. The Hamars live in hut filled camps that consist of several related families. The bull jumping ceremony is very important to the men of this tribe because this event determines their entire future and honor The Hamar women are quite unique. Their clothes
are made from goat skin and wear necklaces and bracelets made of snail shells, glass beads, seeds. One would also find copper wires around their arms. In many cases, due to influences from modern culture and missionaries, quite a number of Hamars are converting to Christianity or forms of it . Others were also influenced to give up eating donkey meat which has been a part of their diet for a very long time. More and more Hamars are giving up their traditional clothing and choosing t-shirts and pants due to religion changes as well. They raise their huts and stay at one place for a few months in order for their cattle to graze. The Hamars take what they need and constantly are changing living locations if they run out of resources. Cattle is most important to them, due to the fact they get milk and meat. If the Hamars need anything else they cannot obtain themselves, they will trade. Besides meat, their staple is sorghum. Sorghum is a number of grasses which is used for grain. They make porridge and beer from it as well. Said families live in tents (or huts) arranged in a circle. The cattle is always brought to the center of the circle at night. Upon setup of campsites, beds for women and children are made first and then the hut is built around it. Said huts are constructed with with flexible poles set in the ground in a circular pattern. The poles are bent upward and joined at the top and tied. Men and boys sleep on cots in the center of the camp, near the cattle. Day to Day Life Women are also expected to play an instrument to the men in order to mate with them. If the man does not think the woman is not putting enough effort into playing, he will not mate with her. Hamar women dance and sing during rituals and ceremonies, for example, the bull jumping ceremony. Their music and dances are very cultural and is watched and video taped by many tourists Body painting is very popular amongst the tribe, including men, women and even children. Men usually paint themselves with white chalk to prepare a ceremony. Most dancing occurs in the center of the camps, where the cattle reside Braiding hair and putting feathers and beads in it is a great importance for the tribe. Men also braid. To get the right color and texture, they put ochre and clay in their hair. Women use butter to style and condition. Day to Day Life The practice of body modification is used by cutting themselves and packing the wound with ash and charcoal. Women tend to wear circular wedge necklaces, showing that they are married. -The whipping of women after the bull jumping ceremony -Having to kill whenever it is animal or man to become an adult. How this tribe survives -Despite their lack of technology, the Hamar Tribe have a way of living by getting food from cattle, resources from plants and grains and using a system of trade -It is much easier to find a spouse and start a family in this culture -Harming their bodies for meaningful purposes don't have place in today's society. Customs most interesting Married women wear "burkule" (huge heavy necklaces) around their necks. Only the first wives get this however The tribe would set up their huts and cattle in a location for periods of time for their cattle to graze but then they move on when resources are thin. In other terms, the Hamar tribe does not have a set location Ethiopia is a high plateau central mountain
range, divided by the Rift Valley. The weather
is pleasant after the rainy season The climate for this area is tropical monsoon, with wide
topographic-induced variation Location The Hamar tribe face extreme heat which very hard to overcome when the Omo river is the only river in the area. They have to deal with wild animals such as lions, jackals and hyenas. Due to lack of resources, they also face diseases such as HIV, malaria and an African sleeping sickness (transmitted by a fly). The ways the Hamar overcome some of the these issues are becoming skilled killers and knowing how to use their surroundings. When food is low, they live off the milk of their cows and the blood from it's neck. Their best known historic tradition is their bull jumping. The Hamar is always on guard from their enemies. Their main targets are the Bume and Galeb. These tribes are very hostile and have no problem with killing each other. It is common and praised in the Hamar tribe to kill their enemies. They are rewarded for it. However, the Hamar are considered mostly gentle and very friendly towards tourists. Scaring is a traditional factor for Hamar men. Protecting the tribe is important, if anyone is wronged or someone is killed by the enemy, the Hamar men have the right to get revenge. When a Hamar man kills an enemy, they are greatly honored for it. They receive "hero scars". The number of scars depend on how many people they have killed. The men are in charge of the women, however, only elders and warriors are respected. It is the mens' responsibility to acquire cattle and goats so they can be wealthy and live well within the tribe. Women will also have their hair covered in red-ocher coloring and animal fat which gives it a vibrant red color. Hamar women are considered second hand citizens. If they do not allow themselves to be whipped during the bull jumping ceremony or during marriage, they are shamed and condemned as never to be married. The women can be treated like slaves, depending what their marriage is. However, the women reject, claiming they want to be whipped just like their earlier generations did. EPRDF has made it illegal to practice the art of scaring to represent a man's kills. Punishment can be jail time up to ten years. The government also wishes to end the hostility between Hamar tribe and others. They do not have any rituals to become adults. Their parents pick who she will marry. Women are usually married young at age 16 or 17 to older men because they have enough cattle/goats to pay for a marriage. Women allow themselves to be whipped before marriage to show they are devoted to their future husband Men can have as many wives as he can afford.
Usually they have three. Sadly, the second and third wives are treated as slaves. If one is lucky enough to be the first man's wife, life is easier. If a woman's husband passes, she can gain control of his younger brothers -Although violent, the most interesting custom would have to be the act of scaring to show the number of killings