Coming of Age

  • Photographer
    Andrew Eldon
  • Prize
    Honorable Mention
  • Date of Photograph
    January 2023

In Southern Ethiopia I attended a Hamer bull-jumping ceremony; a coming of age event where a young man must leap several times over the backs of large bulls to mark his transition to manhood and his right to marry. Ahead of the jump, we saw tribeswomen come together to dance and celebrate, the continuation of festivities that start days before the main ceremony. During the dancing some of the women demand to be whipped with birch switches in a form of consensual violence to show their devotion. This creates scarring on their backs that are worn as a badge of honour and a show of loyalty.

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