Over a period of 6 years, renowned photographer Hans Silvester photographed peoples of the Omo Valley. It is a very remote area in Ethiopia. Wild and unspoiled. The Surma and Mursi Tribes take great pleasure in decorating themselves with the glorious pigments available in this volcanic region.
White kaolin, ochre-red, copper green, luminous yellow and ash grey.
In addition to the pigments all manner of materials from the surroundings are added to the "fancy dress".
Flowers, leaves, grasses, berries and seed pods
.....shells, butterfly wings, animal horns and tails
....... sometimes the odd modern accoutrements such as glass beads, bottle caps and bullet casings.
These joyful people are walking masterpieces of abstract art. Marked with spots and stripes, stars and circles. The first time I saw the photographs, I thought they were contrived but apparently not. We are looking at the expression of a joyful spirit. The ancestral art of body painting together with headdress are part fashion, part protection from the sun and also part trophy display.
See more here.
Ethiopia: Peoples of the Omo Valley (Set of 2 volumes) by Hans Silvester
Natural Fashion by Hans Silvester