Ethiopia’s Omo Valley | Africa’s Last Frontier, National Geographic Magazine: Tribal Donga Stick Fight

A culturally distinct area, the Omo Valley is the last place in Africa for stick fighting, lip plates, and bull jumping manhood ceremonies. When a young man has a dispute over a woman he challenges his rival to a “Donga” or stick fight. The young man gathers friends from his village, and they start an elaborate and age-old ritual that ends in injury for many and even death for some. They sing as they walk and carry their fighting sticks, carved in the shapes of penises.

One of the concerns when traveling in this area is that locals will start a stick fight for tourist dollars. If you travel here, be aware that your presence could incite fighting that might hurt locals. These photos are authentic-made after spending extensive time getting to know, build trust and understand the tribe.

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