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15th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Travel
Ukuli Bula

I was very lucky to be with Hamar people and enjoy their traditional Bull jump.The most dramatic and significant ritual is Bull-Jumping ceremony (Ukuli Bula) which represent a life –Changing event for the young man (Ukuli) who passes from boyhood in to adulthood. This rite of passage must be done before a man is permitted to marry. This is a ceremony which determines whether a young Hamar man is ready to make the social jump from immature member of his society to responsibility of marriage and raising a family. This is a three days ceremony. They line up about 15 cattle side by side one holding the head and another the tail of each animal and hold them closely together in a specially chosen area. These cattle are cows and castrated oxen, which represent the women and children of the tribe.The Ukuli then brought in, totally naked accompanied by two of his best friends. He runs towards the cattle, jumps onto the back of the first small caw (handled by his close relatives) and then runs across all the remaining animals four or more times.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 10.2016
Date Uploaded: 11.2017
Photo Location: Hamar village, Ethiopia
Camera: NIKON D5100
Copyright: © Gabriella Kiss Dr