However, you can’t just take it and fly to the Herero international airport, take a taxi and order a suite with a view of the settlement. You can get to visit the natives either as part of small groups or with an individual guide who will help with the translation. So the first step to getting to know the tribes will be a flight to the nearest major city. All local trips are organized on the spot, you just have to choose a specific operator or find a suitable guide. And we found the five most interesting tribes with whom you can meet, and which will be mutually glad to you.
This tribe lives in Ethiopia, its number is slightly more than seven thousand people. The tribe is considered wealthy – it breeds cattle and does not experience any problems with food. Less well-off tribes living in the neighborhood are either on the verge of extinction or live off humanitarian aid. Tourists began to visit the land of Mursi often, and some natives began to use it: for example, they can ask for money for photos with them. It’s important to show your peaceful disposition: give some gifts – for example, razors. Attitude towards you will immediately become like an honored guest. Also, tourists are advised to go to the little-known Mursi villages, which are not yet spoiled by the attention of tourists and are not tired of strangers.
Mursi is widely known for its appearance. This is especially true for women – they insert a porcelain disk, sometimes called a plate, into the lower lip. There are several versions explaining this feature. The most popular says that hundreds of years ago, in this way, the tribe wanted to make its women less attractive in the eyes of slave traders. Now it is believed that the larger the plate, the woman is more beautiful and respected by the tribe. Saucers are inserted only on important occasions – to the arrival of guests, to the holidays. Another distinctive feature of Mursi is the patterns of convex points on the body. Incisions are made on the skin where ash is poured. Therefore, by the way, the tribe also values sharp blades as gifts.
Another Ethiopian tribe, more numerous in comparison with the Mursi, is about thirty-five thousand people. Hamera also quickly realized that tourists bring not only chores but also money along with gifts. Get ready to pay for the photos; the hamers definitely did not hear about the right to shoot in public places.
People are considered very tourist-friendly compared to Mursi. But in any case, you will be accompanied by a person who knows the language of the tribe and the rules of etiquette.
Here, women do not carry a plate in their lips, but their backs are scarred. The number of wounds speaks of respect and honor among men. This is preceded by a ritual: women drink all night long something like beer, which is made from grains of sorghum plants. Then they need to piss off the men who will beat them on the back with rods.
Men’s life is also not easy: to undergo the initiation ceremony when a teenager becomes a man in the eyes of the tribe, you need to run four times along the backs of the bulls. The difficulty is that the bulls are not connected, and the animals can simply disperse themselves. If you fail, you will have to wait a year to repeat the ritual.
The fox is big – more than seven hundred thousand people. Some of the settlements are located in China, the rest in Myanmar, India, and Thailand. The ancestors of the fox came to these lands from Tibet and for hundreds of years, the tribe’s way of life has not changed. The leading role in their lives is played by the family. Men are allowed to have several wives, so the fox has many families.
Unlike Hamer and Mursi, the fox does not practice wild rituals in the understanding of modern man. And although the fox is generally quite shy, they always welcome strangers.
The fox is known for some time ago living mainly due to the cultivation of opium, which in these places serves as a cure for many diseases. But now they have switched to tourism and the cultivation of other plants – for example, corn. Agriculture is conducted the slash-and-burn method, which is almost never found. This method destroys the soil in a few years, and the fox is often forced to look for a new place to live.
Women of this tribe wear dresses in the fashion of the late XIX – early XX centuries: wide skirts, loose sleeves, unusual patterns. On the head – a specially folded scarf, similar to a cocked hat. Men can be found in German military uniforms of the early twentieth century. They believe that such clothing transfers the power of the Germans to its owner.
The fact is that at the beginning of the twentieth century, German colonial troops killed 80% of Herero (about 65 thousand people) during the suppression of the uprising. The current number of people is quite numerous – about 240 thousand. Herero is usually engaged in cattle breeding and handicraft. The attitude of tourists is friendly.
From the more civilized Herero and the Fox, we return to the next eerie rites and traditions. The Indonesian people of Mentawai have specific perceptions of female beauty. It is considered effective “smile shark” – pointed teeth. It looks unusual until you think about how the teeth get this look. It’s simple: they are cut and chopped.
Mentawai respectful nature, trying not to cut trees in vain and not to kill animals without emergency. The tribe is friendly to tourists and enthusiastically introduces its traditions. If the Herero and the fox seem too “civilized”, and the soul does not lie for a trip to Ethiopia, the Mentawai tribe will be the best choice for an exotic trip – a good attitude towards strangers ensures that you will not need anything.