The tribes of Omo Valley Ethiopia

The Surma and Mursi People are fashionably green.

Living in the luxuriant lower valley of the Omo, at the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, the inhabitants diplay their love for the beautiful plants and flowers of their home.

Now what was the name of that anthropologist who said something about the lack of a floral culture in Africa –oh yes Jack Goody. Tsk. Tsk.

If this work by photographer Hans Sylvester illustrates nothing else, let it stand at least as testimony to the contrary, a complete and sophisticated love of florals. Here then are examples of the imaginative, playful and highly esthetic sense of fancy and spectacle that the fragile Omo river valley inspires.

These nomadic peoples have made a territory of themselves, the landscape of the body allows for an infinite and changing wardrobe. Somewhere between theater and art, the fruits and leaves, berries and flowers accompanied by elaborate nature pigment painting garner our attention.

Photos are from Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa by Hans Silvester, Thames&Hudson, 2009.

See more photos here