The bull jumping ceremony marks the passage from childhood into manhood for all boys in Banna and Hammer tribes (Omo Valley, Ethiopia). If successful, the man will be able to marry the woman of his choice. If not, he would have to wait another year to try again. Naked, this young boy who is about to be a man, has to jump over the back of 14 to 20 bulls aligned in a row… and has to repeat it 4 times. Men who successfully completed the ceremony in the past have an important role: they displace the bulls and whip the sisters and women relatives of the jumper – the more scars on the back they have, the more dedicated to their husband and family they tend to be.
We had the opportunity to take part of one of these ceremony in a Banna tribe near Key Afar.