Jinka & Mago Mursi

Jinka is the administrative capital of South omo and the obvious gate way into Omo Region. It is situated some 138km south of Konso. The main point of interest for tourists is South omo research Center and Museum. This museum provides a useful over view of the various Cultures of South Omo. Jinka is also a gate way to Mago National park from the south. Mago National park is dominated by dense acacia woodland and most of the park lies on the Rift Valley floor at an altitude below 500m. Most tourists go to this park to see the Mursi people along the Mago River. The most famous Mursi Tradition includes the lip Plate worn by the women, and the fierce stick fighting between the men.

People of South Omo

Turmi & Hammer:

Turmi lies about 112 kms from Jinka and is one of the main hammer towns known for attracting mainly hammer people on Monday. The hammers occupy a large territory stretching east from Omo River to Lake Chew Bahir. They are known both for their fine pottery and their remarkable hair styling. The Hammer is also considered the masters of body decoration. Every adornment has an important symbolic significance, e.g. Earrings denote the number of wives a man possesses.

Bull jumping and evangadi dancing is the most important event in the hammer. This initiation Rite is usually held between February and April. The initiate (Young boy) has to leap onto the back of the first bull then from one bull to the next until he reaches the end of the row and has to prove his worth by repeating in the opposite direction. If he succeeds then he may take a wife but if he fails he will have to wait a year and try again. Young women show their devotion, love and respect for the initiate by being beaten by the young boys and performing their evangadi dancing.

Murle & Karo:

People of South Omo

Murle is situated on the eastern bank of the Omo River some 55 kms from Turmi. The main local attractions are the Karo villages of Kolcho and Dus and the Bumi village of Kangatan. Karo people are known for their intricate body paintings.

Omo Rate & Dasenech

Alternatively known as Geleb people Dasenech range across a large territory along the western banks of the Omo River. They live in their traditional villages comprising small, flimsy and domed huts.

The Surma and Kibish

Kibish is situated in the semi arid southwestern lowlands about 180kms south of Mizan Tafari. The village of Kibish is a convenient place for excursions into the western half of south Omo separated from its eastern counter parts by Omo River. Omo runs south ward from Sodo Jimma road to Lake Turkana. Southwest Omo is home to the Surma people a group of some 25000 Nilotic-speakers divided in to three main sub groups: the Mursi, Chai and Tirma all of which still adhere to a traditional pastoralist lifestyle.