Surma Stick Fighting in Ethiopia
The Surma live in southern Ethiopia, on the west bank of the Omo River. For as long as they can remember, they have had to fight to protect their land and cattle, especially against their enemies, the Nyangatom. Civil War in Sudan flooded the area with guns. In this context of continuous insecurity, Surmas have to display their courage, their virility, and their strength, and Donga (stick fighting) is a unique occasion to perpetuate their legend. In most cases, stick fighting is a way for warriors to find girlfriends. The fights are held between Suri villages, gathering hundreds of warriors in violent combat.