Women Dress for Ceremony

A young woman of the Benne tribe is made up before her brother's bull jumping ceremony.  This ceremony is central to the social structure of many tribes in this area.  The women all get whipped before the man jumps the bulls and their whip marks are a symbol of belonging to the tribe.  The marks also qualify them for support if they ever need it.  The man who jumps the bulls becomes a man and is then eligible to marry.  Some tribes only have a bull jumping every generation... so sometimes it is a dozen years or so before a man can marry.  During this un-married time many men settle with women and have children.  All children born before the man jumps the bulls have to be killed--they fill the newborn babies mouth with soil and leave it in the bush to die.  The Ethiopian government has tried to stop this practice but have not been successful in a SINGLE incidence.  This ceremony is so strong in the traditions of these people that they kill their newborns in favor of violating the traditions.

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