Mursi Tribe

Surrounded by mountains between the Omo River and its tributary the Mago, the home of the Mursi is one of the most isolated regions of Ethiopia. Women of this tribe are (with Surmi) the last group in Africa wearing clay or wooden plate in their lower lips. These are an expression of social adulthood and reproductive potential  Girls start wearing them when they are around 15 years old. The cut is held open by a wooden plug until the wound heals. It’s up to the individual girl to decide how far to stretch the lip, by inserting progressively larger plugs. Some of them persevere until their lips can take plates of 12 centimetres in diameter.