Ethiopia’s Omo Valley is home to 15 ‘marginalised’ tribes who live a wild and basic existence. Their way of life is increasingly threatened by growing access to the region driven by tourism and government-sponsored infrastructure projects.
Jeremy Peters is a London- and Cape Town-based portrait and wildlife photographer. His love for Africa and passion for photographing both wildlife and people sees him increasingly fascinated by the lives of everyone he meets. To view more of his work, visit: Jeremy Peters Wildlife Photography and Jeremy Peters Photography.
These Suri boys – painted head to toe create a slightly eerie “Wild West of the Omo” look.
A lady from the Benna Tribe in the market town of Keyafer. The market plays host to many of the tribes who come together to buy and sell everyday produce.
An elderly woman from the Suri Tribe.
The river in Kibish provides a perfect early morning setting for three Suri boys who have painted themselves with clay.
A group of women from the Hamar tribe sing and dance in support of a local man who will attempt to jump and run across four bulls four times without falling at sunset. This is not only his passage to becoming a warrior, it also secures his right to wed.
A Suri lady shows off her clay lip plate. Once used as a form of scarification to avoid slavery, it is now a form of beautification, with status and dowry linked to the size of the plate.
Karo Warriors stand tall and proud next to the Omo River. Most warriors carry an AK47, which is a sign of wealth and prestige and a necessary tool to protect their livestock.
Hands of the Omo Valley. A Suri man who is tending his cattle at first light shows me his working man’s hands. Cattle provides a livelihood for all the tribes of the Omo Valley and is often the root of violence between tribes.
A Suri boy paints himself with clay and wears a headdress made from local fauna. The Suri are known for their use of flowers and other natural objects to decorate themselves.