Hans Silvester - Donga, Photo 3
Donga photography, stick duel.
Donga tournaments are held in the summer with the Suri, after the harvests and gather the valiant men ready to show others and women their muscles, their strength and their courage. They gather several hundred fighters and comply with strict rules orchestrated by a former, guarantor of the loyalty of the fight.
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The strength of these warriors is formidable, and already their energy and desire to participate in the Donga from the beginning of the ceremony, before meeting again on the field reserve for combat.
Hans showed us the whole ceremony, the preparation of the men and women who take the time to purify themselves at the river, to decorate their bodies before meeting to scrupulously follow this honorary ritual. These men, peaceful shepherds busy keeping their flock daily, reserve their moments of relaxation for combat training, training at the Donga. As many times repeated these precise stick handling gestures will be their strength and talent to be ready on D-Day.
Even if this ancestral ritual may seem savage and cruel, it is only the reflection of games of seduction in other civilizations.
In this series entitled Donga, Hans showed us the whole ceremony, the preparation of the men and women who take the time to purify themselves at the river, to decorate their bodies before meeting to scrupulously follow this honorary ritual.
Who are the Peoples of the Omo?
On the outskirts of Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan, the Lower Omo Valley is still a lost world... Far from any capital, climate-challenging because it is close to Ecuador and situated in the Rift Depression, this region remains one of the wildest in Africa. Rare trails cross the region... Fifteen or so nomadic or semi-nomadic tribes share a territory as large as twice Belgium, an area not negligible when we know that all travel is on foot. These ethnic groups, the largest of which reach as many as 70,000 and the most modest of which do not exceed 1,000, have so far had little to do with civilization, except in a brutal way: With the civil war in nearby Sudan and its arms trade, these tribes experienced the Kalashnikovs practically before they saw the first whites.
It is two days from 4X4 from Addis Ababa and several hours walk that Moulou, his guide allowed Hans Silvester to penetrate this natural world.
This photo, taken in the early 2000s, still shows the purity of this world which will soon be confronted with our civilization. With the construction of trails, the exploitation of oil, and later the arrival of the first tourist cars, it is a true cultural testimony that Hans Silvester offers us and that has been able to make us aware of both the beauty of these men and women, to their art and to their daily life which he knew how to observe. Hans opens to us the doors of a still virgin world and his involvement in his many journeys, his energy at the service of the diffusion of these traditions we are seduced and seduced again.
It is with great pleasure that the Galerie Retour de Voyage will present the original photos in limited editions.
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