Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mursi Boy, Decoration, Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia, February, 2010

Color film is always with me but old habits usually prevent me from using it. Every once in a while a roll is loaded and a few images are made. Even less frequently it is scanned and reviewed, usually put away for future reference.

This past week a few were scanned and the above image is an example from my visit to Ethiopia in 2010. People warned us about these villages and gave us the impression that photography in my style would be nearly impossible. We heard stories of villagers crowding the cars, at times rocking the vehicles until their demands were met.

The exact opposite was experienced. Sure they wanted to sell their goods in order to make a living. Then again show me one group on this planet doing otherwise. These good people made their own baskets, their own ornaments. They even had a sense of humor about it. The women would ask for my hand in order to show me an ornament. Then they would walk away, too far for me to give it back, asking for payment in return. They would however always take their product back, with the exception of the four purchased by me.

I admire this population greatly, for their lives are extremely difficult. The surroundings even for a few days were most difficult on us. Tourists were amongst them daily, yet they ignored the glitter and glamor that came along with the SUVs and the digital screens.

This young boy carried an ornament rather than the AK-47 that the adults seemed to enjoy. He stood on the bumper of our truck in order to allow us the sky as the background. His portrait was only made in color in light of the white beads present. He allowed me a few exposures and went along his way.

I hope to return and photograph the Mursi Community of the Lower Omo Valley in the near future.

For more of my work, please visit the newly designed website below, courtesy of Patrick Luu.

Halim Ina Photography


  1. Halim, your words are as illuminating as the images you create. Case in point: "This young boy carried an ornament rather than the AK-47 that the adults seemed to enjoy." This understated statement subtly reveals the difficulties and danger these villagers are faced with on a daily basis. I look forward to reading more of your insights into a world most of us will never see. All the best to you!

  2. You, my dear good man Doug, have a way with words yourself. You took the time to read his story and also to understand the thoughts behind it. There are few that do so and for such you have my deepest gratitude. Rather than forgetting the less fortunate in the world you give of your time to remember them. I admire this about you and wish you the best in return!