I have three wives, six sons and three daughters. | Human Stories | Travel the world with us

I have three wives, six sons and three daughters

My name is Olagery. I belong with the Mursi tribe. We live in Omo Valley, between the Mago and Omo Rivers in Southern Ethiopia. I am 31 years old. I have two brothers and three sisters. I have three wives. In our tribe, we are able to marry more than one wife. In order to marry a woman, a man has to have enough cattle to give to her father.

In our tribe, wealth is measured by the number of cattle you own. I have 18 cows. I have been very sad because some of my cows have died from illnesses. Nowadays, I am trying to increase the number of my cattle.

I have six sons and three daughters. They live with their mothers respectively in the houses that I built.

We have scars on our bodies. We make the scars with razor blades. Then, we rub dirt into the wounds to make them permanent. A Mursi design of skin scarification which is applied on left shoulder of a man announces his passing into adulthood.

We used to carry large sticks (dongas) for fighting. But nowadays, we replaced them with AK-47 rifles.

Our main nutritional source is a kind of dry porridge which is made from sorghum or maize. We mix it with milk and blood which is taken directly from a cut from the neck of the cattle. We also practice limited agriculture in our community.

I am happy living here and hope to live here till the end of my days.

Ethiopia, 9 October 2018 

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