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Mursi Tribe – Terro Donga

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Array Mursi Tribe – Terro Donga Mursi Tribe – Terro Donga Mursi Tribe – Terro Donga Mursi Tribe – Terro Donga Mursi Tribe – Terro Donga Mursi Tribe – Terro Donga Mursi Tribe – Terro Donga Mursi Tribe – Terro Donga Mursi Tribe – Terro Donga Mursi Tribe – Terro Donga Mursi Tribe – Terro Donga

The Terro (or Terru) Donga or korda kôma is a traditional Mursi rite of passage to manhood.

It involves the young males in the Terro age group (teens and boys) facing their elders (Barra or Rorra) in bouts of one-to-one combat in an arena in a clearing in the bush.

The Terro sit naked in a group of perhaps 100 or so awaiting their turn to fight.

Each is then led out alone by a single Barra (young elder) who carries a very long whip which he has cut from a nearby tree. The duel commences as the Terro boy defends himself with only a Donga stick. As quickly as possible he bravely moves in towards his assailant to avoid the whip which becomes entirely ineffective at close quarters.

As the young man reaches his adversary he grapples in close contact until he is pushed to the ground. This immediately ends the contest and he returns to the group to await his next bout.

The Terro boys show no emotion and no pain even when the whip cuts into their skin.

The contest finishes with slaughter of a bull and a feast follows.

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