Lip Plate tribe

Trip Start May 31, 2006
Trip End Oct 14, 2006

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Flag of Ethiopia  ,
Thursday, July 13, 2006

Ok, you were abruptly left with us just piled into our slightly packed land cruiser heading out to Mursi to see the Mursi 'lip plate' tribe. Our driver decided that Mariah Carey 'Hero' and 'Without You' - especially the latter because most of us would join in - were his favourite songs so played his tape so many times as we went on these mad 4WD tracks, that he almost wore his tape out - no joke it was squealing more than singing on the last play! Finally we arrived at the long awaited lip plate tribe. Martin, apparently it is because it is their custom, someone said they see it as a sign of verility - i'm not so sure about that - it certainly is strange. What they basically do is gradually separate the skin of their bottom lip so that it forms a separate circle of skin which they can slip this disc in and out of, i have bought one to remind me of it. Now i don't know what you imagine of a tribe that are about an hour's drive from the nearest civilisation but i certainly wasn't expecting this, the second that we got out of the land cruiser they were all around us saying 'foto' 2 birr - but there would be like 10 of them saying this and they would poke you if you ignored them and they would pull your arm. when you'd finally decided who you did want in a photo with each person earning 2 birr for the pleasure (it's about 8 birr to the dollar = sorry i only work in that exchange rate but i think it's about 11 to the pound!) then you'd have to tell all the others trying to get in that it is only said ones and then you'd get your photo, after about 30mins, 2 photos, a lip plate and a braclet we almost ran away. Back on the bumpy path ways and back out to a 'civilisation' away from them...listening to Mariah as we went along.

They are going to take the server down i think this entry will have to end here and i'll try and continue again soon
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