Two Hamar girls cornering a Maza; forcing him to whip them.
The Hamar bulljump is a rite of passage where a young man (around his twenties) has to jump and run over a line of cattle. If he succeeds; he is considered to be a man.
During the night and early in the morning, the female relatives of the boy who has to jump the cattle (named Okuli) start drinking sorghum beer. Some say they do this to get in the right spirit; others say they do this to get a bit numb for what is to come. It is the tradition that the female relatives of the Okuli get whipped by the Maz (men who all recently jumped the cattle) to prove their strenght but also to prove their love and loyalty towards their male relative and family. Also, a woman without scars will most likely not be able to marry. Some people may think that the whipping of women is an act of inhumanity but do not forget that these Hamar women are not forced and ask/demand to get whipped. Pushing, hitting and calling the Maz names if they hesitate. The Maz initially do not want to hit the women. This demands a little bit more explanation about the Maz. After jumping the cattle; the boy will become a man and a Maza. The next couple of weeks/months he will spent with the other Maz; going from one bulljump to the other and not being able to go home to his family. This is actually a second passage rite they have to bring to a good end. At the bulljumps they have to prove to their father and future father-in-law that they can whip woman and gather cattle. This means that he is a â€œrealâ€ man that can take care of his family and his cattle. The whipping is the first part of the ceremony and always takes place on low ground. When this part is done; everybody moves to high ground for the actual bulljumping. First the Okuli will undergo a sacred and secret ceremony where rings will be placed over his penis. In the meanwhile the women surround the cattle, dancing, jumping and blowing horns.
Started with a bit of photography in 2009 when i travelled to India. I found that i really enjoyed coming in contact with people and finding out how they live. From there on i have put more focus on portrait photography but i realise that is still have much to learn ... like taking pictures of people in their whole and not just faces. Maybe my gear is restricting me a bit... Connect with Steven Goethals on:
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... as long as there's an advanced Maths course in a (not necessarily) nearby country. He's known for pushing friends into the most expensive photographic equipment... several family inheritances have been wasted, but they often acknowledge his smart advices. Owner of a clinical eye, he can spot perfection amidst chaos as easily as a small imperfection on a perfect photo. He's also an occasional stork stalker and, above all, a caring father of two beautiful children. Gastão's current location: Covilhã, Portugal.
... give us a hand. He's our Computer Science genius and is currently addicted to photographing cats. He's a natural born optimist who makes a joke out of anything... don't mess with his Toyota though. Eventually, his stocks will rise from death and he'll invest in livestock and vineyards. He's got highly trained fingers either playing the piano or shortcutting photoshop. We hope he'll stick around after marrying his college sweetheart. In the mean time, he'll dissect every submitted photograph into binary code. Pedro's current location: Covilhã, Portugal.
... would only be true if reading travel, geographic and surfing books/magazines accounted some mileage. He checks his e-mail every 2 minutes and he's often seen going cold-turkey when offline. Still divided between several walks of life, he strongly believes in Murphy's law "If anything can go wrong, it will". Photography plays a huge role in his life, at least judging by his conversation topics. Gray hair will eventually take the better of him. Pedro's current location: Covilhã, Portugal. Pedro's blog, personal/work homepage and facebook.