The Hamar tribe are principally pastoralists, breeding cattle, goats and sheep. Omo Valley Tour and Travel offers exclusive visits to Southern Ethiopia’s Hamar people. They have a similar veneration for cattle as their close neighbors. The women and girls grow crops, with the staple being sorghum, but they also grow beans, maize and pumpkin. The women are also responsible for collecting water, cooking, and looking after the household and children – who start helping the family by herding the goats from around age eight. The young men of the village work the crops and defend the herds, while adult men herd the cattle, plough with the oxen and raise beehives in acacia trees.

As with the majority of tribes in the area, the land is not owned by individuals; it is free for use by any member of the family group. The Hamar move on when they’ve exhausted the land. get unique Omo Valley tour package to this astonishing people and witness extraordinary culture.

Diet of Hamar Tribe

A dry porridge of either sorghum or maize is consumed with milk or boiled coffee husk (shoforo). Balasha, dry bread made mainly from sorghum, is sometimes eaten with butter and honey.

Appearance

The Hamar are amongst the most readily identifiable of all the peoples of the South Omo. Women wear an elaborately decorated goatskin, often colored with beads and cowries. Beaded necklaces, bracelets and waistbands adorn their bodies, which, for the Hamar tribe, tend to be made with black and red beads. (The Banna, their close neighbors, mostly use blue and black beads). Women wear thick copper necklaces announcing their marital status. They wear a lather long tipped necklace and two copper necklaces if they’re the first wife and only two copper necklaces if they’re second, third or fourth wife to one man.

One striking characteristic of the Hamar men and women is that they indulge in elaborate hair-dressing. Men wear a clay cap which is painted and decorated with feathers and other ornaments. They also paint themselves with white chalk paste during ceremonial events. The women decorate their hair with clay and butter twisted into a striking long plait. Ethnic men are often seen carrying a small stool or pillow in the Omo region in general.

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