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My Way

Suri People of the Omo Valley, Ethiopia, 2023

I had to hold back laughter when a line of Suri men turned to show off their body paint, giving the smallest member of their group the chance to seize his spotlight. While Suri women have become known for their colourful ensembles, Suri men and boys have their own equally intricate styles. The men carefully paint swirling patterns across their legs, arms, torsos, and faces. They rarely leave their villages without some kind of design expertly etched with the quick hands of skilled artists. The ultimate aim of the overall look is to enhance their beauty while simultaneously intimidating their enemies. Cattle raids and conflict are a part of life within the valley, but to a young Suri boy surrounded by the strength and love of his fellow warriors, nothing could stand in his way.

Archival Pigment Print

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