STICK FIGHTING DAY IN SURI TRIBE - ETHIOPIA
Donga stick fights take place after the harvests, the Surmas count days owing to knots on a long stem of grass or jags on the trunk of a tree dedicated to that specific use. Each knot or jag representing a single day, it means that if the bark of the tree is cut with 8 jags for example, the Donga will take on the 8th day of the month.
Before a Donga, some Suri drink the fresh blood of their cattle during the Blood meal ritual. It consists in making a small incision in the cow’s carotid artery with a special sharp arrow in order ro make it bleed almost two liters of its bloodThe warrior has got to drink the entire content in one as blood coagulates quickly. Sometimes warriors do not manage to drink all of the blood contained in the calabash in one mouthful, and vomit all the blood they swallowed .Surma believe the cow’s blood is full of vitamins that enable warriors to be fit.
The warriors stop when crossing a river in order to wash themselves, before decorating their bodies for the fight. They decorate themselves by sliding the fingers full of clay on the warrior’s bodies. This dressing up and decoration is meant to show their beauty and virility and thus catch the women’s attention.
Body paintings are also especially made during the long periods spent in the camps where the cattle is kept by young men and women. These camps are located far away from the village and the pratice of body painting is an informal and play event seen as an expression of liberty and independance for these young people. Body paintings unfortunately show the increasing impact of foreign tourists. Suri people have developed and created new body paintings as well as new dress codes in order to attract tourists. They have understood that foreigners would be more eager to take pictures from them with such decoratives paintings and ornaments, and to pay for it. A few years ago, Suri boys started to disguise by wearing flower headdresses, wh