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Ethiopian Enigma....

Images from Omo Valley tribes taken in mid-2010, 2011. Taken by Nikon D3X and Leica M9, S2, various lenses.

Blogged with Leica:
Part 2: http://blog.leica-camera.com/photographers/interviews/gul-chotrani-in-search-of-the-universal-human-experience-part-two/

Part 1: http://blog.leica-camera.com/photographers/interviews/gul-chotrani-in-search-of-the-universal-human-experience-part-one/

Q&A:
Are the images, people, situations contrived for the tourist or photographer?

No - these Omo Valley tribesfolk still exist and practice their traditions even today. Wherever we went, we sought proper permission for us to photograph, and we made monetary contributions towards individuals and the villages as a whole.

The body/face paintwork that you see is a part of some tribes traditions, including body/facial scarring, as a form of expression and beautification. The 'paints' that they use are natural earth based minerals commonly found in the region.

There is no bar, beer or TV or other such modern forms of 'entertainment' that they resort to after we leave. The villages are as rustic as they would be with almost no evidence of modernisation (electric power, water, appliances etc.)- they are too remote for federal government to provide infrastructure.

There is, however, creeping evidence of tourist visitors presence by way of old clothing that they have begun to wear. Otherwise, they are almost totally naked, except for loin modesty. They are also familiar with the power of money, which they use to buy guns and ammunitions to fight against neighbouring warring tribes.

Read this also: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/03/omo-river/shea-text
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