AA MISC.: Mingi Killing | Ethiopia

Muko Balguda killed twelve of her children before her husband jumped the bulls in a manhood ritual. Because her betrothed was not technically a man, he could not engage in a legal marriage, which meant her children were not legitimate. Muko’s face shows no smile, but she stomps the dust and listens to the sound the bells around her knees make as she scurries around to collect firewood, carry water to the water drums, and boil water that will be added to fermented sorghum paste for the evening celebration. Water from the Omo River is silt-laden, good for agriculture but not great for drinking.

Karos are the only tribe that practice Mingi killing by putting dirt in their newborn children’s mouths and leaving them in the bush to die. No bull jumping was practiced for fifteen years because of a war across the river with the Nyangatom. During this time, Muko had twelve children out of wedlock and killed all of them. 

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