A trip to Africa is a unique personal adventure and a guaranteed pleasure for all our senses. In this current world that we have to live in, globalization has caused – with the good and the bad that this entails – that cultures mix and overlap, but there are people and places that preserve their purity and their most charming charm. authentic .
Human beings from time immemorial have established links that have led them to build societies to coexist, share and improve individual life expectancies. Since the most remote eras, the human species has been grouped into ethnic groups , understood as a group of people with equal racial characteristics and with common cultural and coexistence objectives. Well, in Africa there are countless ethnic groups, peoples that carry in their baggage a history of many years and many people.
The incredible thing today is that there are ethnic groups that preserve their authenticity and their traditional way of life – if not equal to one hundred percent because this is practically impossible, almost identical – just as it was hundreds and even thousands of years ago. One of them is:
The Suri , also known as the Surma , are an indigenous community from East Africa that lives mainly in the Kaffa region in southwestern Ethiopia , as well as a small stronghold that lives on the Boma Plain in South Sudan . It is a semi-nomadic ethnic group that currently has about 45,000 members.
They live in small huts that they build with branches and are considered one of the most aggressive warrior tribes in Africa. They are proud, introverted and have a high sense of possession so they can attack those who approach their properties. Their language is Suri and they keep their traditional customs very much alive, despite attempts by governments to integrate them into a more modern way of life. Cattle ranching and agriculture are their main means of subsistence although times of scarcity also lead them to hunt.
A very significant trait of this ethnic group is manifested in its women who, from the age of twenty, pierce their lower lip to place a clay platecooked whose size increases as the lip dilates; this same body ritual is sometimes performed on the ears, dilating the lobes to be able to contain increasingly voluminous dishes. The larger the plate, the more valuable the woman’s dowry will be to her suiting boyfriend, so these facial accessories are very important for marriage. The Surma in general wear little clothing, but they are very fond of body adornments, since apart from what is mentioned in their women, men usually decorate their bodies with paintings or scarifications in the form of various types of geometric lines. It seems that this custom derives from its use as a factor of intimidation to enemies in ancient times.
Every year they celebrate the “Donga”, a tournament in which young people demonstrate their masculinity by fighting violently and armed with long sticks. This is an act that gives them prestige and greater chances of getting a good marriage.