Woman Without Lip Plate

Years of stretching a chin incision that was made during teenage years, allows this woman to wear a lip plate.  The origin of the tradition of wearing lip plates is debated, but current belief is that it was purely for adornment.  Women don't wear their lip plates while in their home village.  So when in remote areas of Ethiopia, only accessible by boat on the Omo River, women look like this.<br />
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Story summary:.This is a snapshot of cultures that will disappear in southern Ethiopia.  The Omo River tribes are culturally distinct but they have no voice in government and are only 200,000 people standing in Ethiopia's way of having steady electric power.  ..Steady electric power equates directly to GDP growth and will benefit 11 million Ethiopians.  The dam that will provide the electric power for Ethiopia will also choke off the food supply for these tribes that rely on flood recession agriculture...These tribes are also caught in the middle of an arms trade between Sudan and Somalia and as a result, every grown man in this area owns an AK-47.  These tribes were already killing each other across the river over cropland before their food source was stressed.  And... their culture has always been ruled by ritual and revenge.  So when the Gibe III Dam goes online in 2013 these tribes will be starving and heavily armed...Individual caption:

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