Surma Midwife, East Africa

Surma Midwife, East Africa

The nomadic people of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley practice ephemeral, spontaneous rites of elaborate self-adornment using local plants and grasses. These decorations are embellished with butterfly wings, buffalo horns, boar’s teeth, colourful feathers, and further enhanced by body painting with pigments made from powdered stone, plants, berries, and river mud. The Omo people change flower costumes and body-paint often and by whim, facilitated by a quick wash in the river.