Gambela

» Gambela
Gambella, with a brief British influence, was once a busy commercial port between Ethiopia and the Sudan. The main attractions are its National Park and its ethnic groups. The park contains lowland animals seen nowhere else in Ethiopia: Roan antelope, white-eared Kob and the rare Nile lechwe. The two main people groups are the Anuak and Nuer. They are distinctly different from the Semetic and Cushitic speakers who dominate the rest of the country. Further to the South and living on the western bank of River Omo are the Surma or Suri people who number about 40,000. Like the Mursi, they are known for their stick-fighting and the women with their lip-plates. In her early twenties an unmarried woman's lip will be pierced and then progressively stretched over the period of a year. A clay disc indented like a pulley wheel is squeezed into the hole in the lip. As it stretches, ever-larger discs are forced in until the lip become so long; it can sometimes be pulled right over the owner's head. The larger the lip-plate gets, the greater the bride price.
 

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