TOKYO-2020 People / Culture

Bull Jumping Ceremony

  • Prize
    Bronze in People/Culture
  • Photographer
    Jacopo Maria Della Valle
  • Technical Info
    Nikon D750 35mm 1.4 Sigmaart - Nikon Z6 85mm Nikon 1.8
  • Photo Date

The transition from adolescence to adulthood in the Hamer tribes (Ethiopia) is marked by an ancient ritual:the Bull Jumping Ceremony. The day of the ceremony Hamer boys,called Ukuli,must run above ten bulls,back and forth four times,to test their bravery and strength.They are partially shaved,stripped naked and rubbed with sand to wash away their sins. The women adorn their legs with bells and start dancing and jumping.The women get frustrated on the back by men with birch branches,to demonstrate their affection and to encourage the boy.The scars on their back will be the proof of their love.