The Hamar tribe, which lives among the bushy hills on the eastern side of the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia, has a distinct culture and customs, one of which is a cattle-jumping ceremony in which women are beaten.
The event begins with all of the female relatives doing a dance in which they present themselves as whipping targets for newly initiated males, the beatings continue until their backs are covered in blood.
Women are not allowed to scream during the beatings, they do not flee the ceremony, but instead beg the men to beat them repeatedly.
The women accept the beatings as a sign of their love and support for the initiate, and their scars give them the right to ask for his assistance when they are in need.
The guy must next leap across 15 cows to be allowed to marry, and after he has done so, the ritual is concluded with a celebration.
Unless they give birth to at least two children, women in the Hamar tribe are subjected to beatings even after the ritual, at any time the male desires.
The tribe’s norms also state that men are not need to explain why they are hitting women, and that they may do so whenever they believe it is appropriate.
This has resulted in significant scars on the women’s backs, which they proudly display as attractive, Despite this, women in the Hamar tribe are expected to be as strong as men, performing all household chores, caring for children, sowing crops, and maintaining cattle.
Men in Hamar can marry many women, although women who are not first wives are viewed more like slaves because they perform the majority of the work.