Photographs published in new book 'Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa'

With large eyes staring out behind his brilliantly painted face this young child is a proud member of one of east Africa's most fascinating tribal groups.

His face decorated with coloured clay and a crown of greenery topping his little head, the youngster belongs to one of the tribes living in the remote Omo Valley, tucked away beyond the towns and cities of modern life.

This incredible set of pictures allows a glimpse into the lost world of the Omo tribes, who live peacefully and close to nature in one of the most far flung, yet beautiful parts of the world.

The tribes people's way of life is largely untainted by modern life, although the extent to which some of the bleaker elements of civilisation are creeping into their world is apparent in another photograph in which a young boy, his body and face decorated with clay paint poses proudly with a toy gun made of wood.

The incredible photographs which capture the way of life for the 200,000 tribal people who call the lower Omo Valley home were taken by photographer Hans Silvester and have been published in a new book: 'Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa', published by Thames and Hudson.

The book highlights the ways of the Omo tribes who live close to nature with their painted faces, scarified bodies and extravagant headdresses with plants and feathers cleverly combined.

Their painted bodies and intricate headdresses combine as what photographer Mr Silvester described as 'a kind of coquetry, seduction, pride and celebration'.

Many of the indigenous people living in the valley decorate their faces and bodies with coloured clay as many as three times a day.

The Omo Valley is renowned as being one of the most unique places on earth because of the wide variety of people and animals that inhabit it.

Located in Africa's Great Rift Valley, the region is known for its culture and diversity.

The tribes that live in the lower Omo Valley are believed to be among the most fascinating on the continent of Africa and around the world.

Among the numerous different tribes are Arbore, Ari, Bena, Bodi, Bumi, Daasanech, Dorze, Hamer, Kara, Konso, Kwegu, Mursi, Tsemay, and Turkana people.


Responses to "Amazing photographs reveal the fascinating world of the Omo tribes of Ethiopia"

  1. Unknown says:

    This is just amazing... I have never seen such beauty! What a beautiful way to celebrate nature, to celebrate and show respect to our world...

  2. Anonymous says:


  3. Unknown says:

    I can't say anything more than what has been expressed above. Amazingly beautiful, creative people! They are bursting with artistry, and should be protected--from us, unfortunately.

  4. Check out the BUTHONGA peoples in Zimbabwe north

  5. Anonymous says:

    Amazing, they are all so beautiful.

  6. Unknown says:

    On the darker side:In Ethiopia, Mingi is the traditional belief among the Omotic-speaking Karo-speaking and Hamar people in southern Ethiopia that adults and children with physical abnormalities are ritually impure.[28][29] The latter are believed to exert an evil influence upon others, so disabled infants have traditionally been disposed of without a proper burial.[28] Children are killed by forced permanent separation from the tribe by being left alone in the jungle or by drowning in the river.[30][31][32]

    Reasons for being declared impure include birth out of wedlock, the birth of twins, the eruption of teeth in the upper jaw before the lower jaw, and chipping a tooth in childhood.[33][34]

    One of their people who became educated, got them to stop this practice. There is a program about his work on Netflix.

  7. Sandy says:

    Unfortunately, darkness is everywhere. So thankful one of their own became educated to stop this evil.

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