A rare look inside the daily life of a rural African tribe

For special occasions, ceremonies and other important events, the Surma people, also known as the Suri, adorn their heads with brightly colored flowers as well as paint their faces and bodies. To create the paint, they mix leaves and petals from various flowers with crushed white or red rocks and water. There are no mirrors, so tribeswomen paint each other. Bright necklaces made by a nearby tribe are purchased at a market.

Body scarification, which results in small marks over the chest and arms, is another common practice. For men, scars symbolize opponents they’ve killed in battle. In the name of beauty, women may also enlarge their ear lobes to insert decorative discs, or their lips to accommodate a large clay plate. Tribal life could soon change or disappear with the construction of a road, which may bring technology and more tourists.

By Derrick Bryson Taylor, The New York Post


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