Image Image Image Image Image
/
FULLSCREEN

Dassanech Tribe – Preparing for The Dimi

More Info
Read More
Array Dassanech Tribe – Preparing for The Dimi Dassanech Tribe – Preparing for The Dimi Dassanech Tribe – Preparing for The Dimi Dassanech Tribe – Preparing for The Dimi Dassanech Tribe – Preparing for The Dimi Dassanech Tribe – Preparing for The Dimi Dassanech Tribe – Preparing for The Dimi Dassanech Tribe – Preparing for The Dimi Dassanech Tribe – Preparing for The Dimi Dassanech Tribe – Preparing for The Dimi Dassanech Tribe – Preparing for The Dimi

The Dimi is probably the most significant Dassanech ceremony.

It is a highpoint of a Dassanech man’s life as he prepares for his daughter’s circumcision prior to marriage; simultaneously the man attains his elder status in the community.

Each father partaking in the Dimi ceremony paints himself with yellow mud and wears an outfit comprising a black ostrich feather hat, a leopard skin cape, a giraffe tail armband, a short leather loin wrap and bells on both his legs. He carries in one hand a small triangular wooden shield painted red and white and in the other he carries a very long stick reminiscent of a lance or spear. The ceremonial outfit hangs on a pole outside a specially constructed family house in a temporary Dimi village.

The mothers, similarly painted, wear a cape made from a colobus monkey skin over a leather skirt and carry a wooden spoon or baton.

The men march from house to house stopping to chant and dance at each hut. The women join in to the ceremony as the men arrive at their house and then into the procession as it makes its way around the village.

The Dimi’s precise origins are unknown but it has a distinct military appearance which perhaps has some connection to vanquished 19th Century European soldiers who attempted and failed to colonise the region.

If a girl is not circumcised, she cannot marry and her father wont receive her dowry.

At the end of the ceremony, which is performed night and morning over several weeks, cattle and goats are slaughtered for a tribal feast.

These photographs are part of The End of Days – The Last of the Omo Valley Tribes series.