Banna People, Omo Valley, Ethiopia , 2023
Teetering on stick stilts against a cloudy sky, a group of boys from the Banna tribe balance high above their home in the heart of the Omo Valley. I am not ready to admit how much sand I ate trying to take this photograph. But it was worth gaining a lower vantage point to show the boys walking high among the clouds, like walking trees that came untethered from their roots. Some say that stilt walking originated as a clever way for the Banna to keep high above predators while guarding their cattle. Today, however, the practice is reserved for young unmarried men at festivals, and also as a fun way to pass the time.