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The Bull Jumping Ritual of Hamers (July-September)

The Hamers are one of the tribal communities of the Omo Valley in Ethiopia. They are popular for their distinctive initiation ceremony to their young men before they marry. The ceremony involves walking on the back of cattle, a row of up to 10 bulls stand side by side and aligned by the friends of the young bridegroom. The practice is used as a sign of good luck if the young man successfully crosses four times. Friends (called the 'maz'), who have successfully performed the jumping   allowed to help by keeping the cattle in place. If the jumper fails people will often blame the wind for his failure and they allow the aspiring groom a second chance. If he still fails it is considered a bad sign and he will have another chance a year later.

If the groom-to-be succeeds, he may keep the girl in exchange for cattle he gives to her family. For two months the betrothed couple will share blood and milk. Blood from the cow's neck is mixed with her milk and drunk. A wealthy, strong man may marry up to four women.