The various forest sounds of monkeys and birds provided the orchestra of noise to awake one. Again the sleeping sheet was enough.
A dusty road and 20 kms later reached the weekly Dimeka market. It wasn't a large market but was crammed under the shade with the local Hamar and Bena people gathered here for their weekly trade. It was also a central place to gather and catch up on the local gossip.
A local school girl who had been taught English for 6 years told me the subjects that she was taught. This was similar to that of the Konso village. The ones that surprised me were civics / democracy. Again school started at 2 pm. This girl wanted to become a doctor … and yes, she wanted a pen!
Bull Jumping Ceremony
This Hamar boy "coming of age" ceremony.
Briefly the running order was:
- the arrival of the boy mother's family
- the painting on the male body of boy’s supporters
- arrival by the boy father’s family
- given a new name and blessings
- then with the sun setting low on the horizon it was the final act for the day with the running over the top of the bulls. If he didn't fall off, he was successful and the transition into manhood was complete. The naked boy successfully completed this 4 times.
Throughout this whole time the slightly intoxicated female relatives whom seem to be in trance at times were whipped by the males who were friends of the boy who have already done the bull jumping. The women were in fact taunting the men to whip them. This resulting in the bleeding gashes and honorific scars. Significance of the whipping of the females is for them to show their love and support to boy who is doing the rights of passage.
Celebrations would continue for several days with much feasting and many goats killed.
Yes, today is going to be a memorable day. I won't try and judge the whipping of the females but have to accept that this is their custom.
HIGHLIGHTS Sat 20 Dec: Market, Bull Jumping
Saturday, December 20, 2014