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Chinese travel writer’s popular ethnographic photo-essay documents the lives of “closed off,” “eccentric” and “primitive” Ethiopian “tribe” members who have “a certain bestial wildness about them” [translation and Chinese netizens’ comments]

[Ethiopia] Mursi people: Beauty inserted in the lower lip ([埃塞俄比亚]Mursi人,镶嵌在下嘴唇里的美丽)

(Originally published 2012-11-09 00:23:45 by blogger Qian Yang, with 48,688 readers as of 2013-01-05 00:01:45, re-published 2013-01-03 21:26 by travel.163.com, with 340 comments as of 2013-01-05 00:01:45)

Picture 1. When British anthropologists discovered them in the 1970s, the Mursi people had surprisingly never heard of "Ethiopia" -- the country in which they live. We crossed mountain after mountain to enter deep into the Mago National Park where they live. From the past up until the present, they have retained the same way of life: men hunt wild animals for a living and women's lips have discs inserted into them, with larger discs considered more beautiful. 当二十世纪七十年代早期,英国人类学家发现他们时,Mursi族人居然从没听说过“埃塞俄比亚”--这个他们居住着的国度,直到今天,我们翻山越岭深入马果森林公园时,他们还保持长久以来的生活状态:男人们捕杀野兽为生,女人们的下嘴唇里镶嵌着大盘子。

Picture 1. When British anthropologists discovered them in the 1970s, the Mursi people had surprisingly never heard of “Ethiopia” — the country in which they live. We crossed mountain after mountain to enter deep into the Mago National Park where they live. From the past up until the present, they have retained the same way of life: men hunt wild animals for a living and women’s lips have discs inserted into them, with larger discs considered more beautiful.
当二十世纪七十年代早期,英国人类学家发现他们时,Mursi族人居然从没听说过“埃塞俄比亚”–这个他们居住着的国度,直到今天,我们翻山越岭深入马果森林公园时,他们还保持长久以来的生活状态:男人们捕杀野兽为生,女人们的下嘴唇里镶嵌着大盘子。

Picture 2. Mursi men are extremely tall and slender. They carry wooden sticks that are as tall as they are, such that they appear to be warriors. Their eyes have a certain wildness and sternness to them. This wildness and sternness becomes more intense as you get closer to their village.穆西男人身材极高且细,手里拿着和他们一样高的木棒,这让他们看起来更象一名武士,眼睛里带着有淡淡的野性和冷峻,越是到了村子里,这种野性冷峻的味道就更浓。

Picture 2. Mursi men are extremely tall and slender. They carry wooden sticks that are as tall as they are, such that they appear to be warriors. Their eyes have a certain wildness and sternness to them. This wildness and sternness becomes more intense as you get closer to their village.
穆西男人身材极高且细,手里拿着和他们一样高的木棒,这让他们看起来更象一名武士,眼睛里带着有淡淡的野性和冷峻,越是到了村子里,这种野性冷峻的味道就更浓。

Picture 3. Young Mursi boys often go about undressed, with their whole body, including the face and genitals, painted with white tiger spots.Mursi的男孩子们,通常赤裸着身子,全身、包括脸上、生殖器上都画着着白色的虎纹。

Picture 3. Young Mursi boys often go about undressed, with their whole body, including the face and genitals, painted with white tiger spots.
Mursi的男孩子们,通常赤裸着身子,全身、包括脸上、生殖器上都画着着白色的虎纹。

Picture 4. Flowers of the cannonball tree. The flowers bloom in a vibrant way. Some numbers and symbols have been scrawled onto the tree using white paint. The driver said that this is the natives' GPS.这些炮弹花,花开得气势汹汹的,树干上还用白色漆涂了一些数字和符号,司机哎呀呀说,这可是当地人的GPS。

Picture 4. Flowers of the cannonball tree. The flowers bloom in a vibrant way. Some numbers and symbols have been scrawled onto the tree using white paint. The driver said that this is the natives’ GPS.
这些炮弹花,花开得气势汹汹的,树干上还用白色漆涂了一些数字和符号,司机哎呀呀说,这可是当地人的GPS。

Picture 5. We occasionally saw groups of children in twos or threes on the road on our way to Jinka [Trans: town in Southern Ethiopia]. Each time that the car was about to pass them, they started to twist about vigorously. In one photo, they are dancing unselfconsciously while dust swirls around them.在去往金卡的路上,不时有三三两两的小孩,每当车辆快路过他们时,便开始剧烈的扭动起来,一片尘土飞扬中,他们旁若无人的跳着舞。

Picture 5. We occasionally saw groups of children in twos or threes on the road on our way to Jinka [Trans: town in Southern Ethiopia]. Each time that the car was about to pass them, they started to twist about vigorously. In one photo, they are dancing unselfconsciously while dust swirls around them.
在去往金卡的路上,不时有三三两两的小孩,每当车辆快路过他们时,便开始剧烈的扭动起来,一片尘土飞扬中,他们旁若无人的跳着舞。

Picture 6. Groups of Ari men. One making a large pot of Areke liquor, with some sitting at the door to someone's house and some sitting underneath a tree located at the entrance to the village. They drink from noon until night, laughing merrily. As soon as we passed by them, they warmly invited us to drink the liquor. Ari people enjoy inviting people to taste their treasured Areke liquor. But this is not to say that all Omo valley tribes are this friendly. [Trans. The Omo Valley in Ethiopia is home to the Ari, Mursi, Suri, Nyangatom, Dizi and Me'en peoples, among others.]一群又一群的Ari男人,一人抱了一大罐areke酒,坐在谁家的家门口,或是村口的树下,从中午就喝到了晚上,嬉笑着,我们一经过,他们就热情的招呼着喝上几口,Ari人喜欢邀请你尝尝他们心爱的areke酒,但,并不是说,所有的奥莫部族都这么热情。

Picture 6. Groups of Ari men. One making a large pot of Areke liquor, with some sitting at the door to someone’s house and some sitting underneath a tree located at the entrance to the village. They drink from noon until night, laughing merrily. As soon as we passed by them, they warmly invited us to drink the liquor. Ari people enjoy inviting people to taste their treasured Areke liquor. But this is not to say that all Omo valley tribes are this friendly. [Trans. The Omo Valley in Ethiopia is home to the Ari, Mursi, Suri, Nyangatom, Dizi and Me’en peoples, among others.]
一群又一群的Ari男人,一人抱了一大罐areke酒,坐在谁家的家门口,或是村口的树下,从中午就喝到了晚上,嬉笑着,我们一经过,他们就热情的招呼着喝上几口,Ari人喜欢邀请你尝尝他们心爱的areke酒,但,并不是说,所有的奥莫部族都这么热情。

Picture 7. For example, Mursi people. When we encountered them at the market at Jinka, it was easy to recognize them not only because of the way that they dress, but also because of their facial expressions. Compared to other tribes, they are more guarded and defiant.比如穆西人,在金卡的市场遇见她们时,很容易就认出来她们,不仅是她们的装束,而是她们的神情,与其他部落的人相比,更多了几分的防备和桀骜不驯。

Picture 7. For example, Mursi people. When we encountered them at the market at Jinka, it was easy to recognize them not only because of the way that they dress, but also because of their facial expressions. Compared to other tribes, they are more guarded and defiant.
比如穆西人,在金卡的市场遇见她们时,很容易就认出来她们,不仅是她们的装束,而是她们的神情,与其他部落的人相比,更多了几分的防备和桀骜不驯。

Picture 8. There are residents from other tribes who live in Jinka just as the Mursi do. Compared with Mursi people, they are more curious about outsiders, and will more easily talk to strangers in a cheerful and lighthearted manner. 和穆西一样居住在金卡的,还有其他一些部族的居民,相比穆西人,他们对外人会更加好奇一些,也更加容易和陌生人聊得欢快。

Picture 8. There are residents from other tribes who live in Jinka just as the Mursi do. Compared with Mursi people, they are more curious about outsiders, and will more easily talk to strangers in a cheerful and lighthearted manner.
和穆西一样居住在金卡的,还有其他一些部族的居民,相比穆西人,他们对外人会更加好奇一些,也更加容易和陌生人聊得欢快。

Picture 9. Jinka is a small town that is located close to where the Mursi people live, and is the place to set off from when visiting the Mursi people. Morsi people also go to the Jinka market once every week.金卡,是离穆西人最近的一个小镇,也是拜访穆西人的落脚点。每周一次的金卡集市,也有很多的穆西人前来。

Picture 9. Jinka is a small town that is located close to where the Mursi people live, and is the place to set off from when visiting the Mursi people. Morsi people also go to the Jinka market once every week.
金卡,是离穆西人最近的一个小镇,也是拜访穆西人的落脚点。每周一次的金卡集市,也有很多的穆西人前来。

Picture 10. Morsi people regard life in Jinka town as very modernized although the water supply is often cut off and there are power blackouts at regular times during the night.虽然经常停水,晚上准时停电,可相对于穆西人,镇上的生活已经相当的现代。

Picture 10. Morsi people regard life in Jinka town as very modernized although the water supply is often cut off and there are power blackouts at regular times during the night.
虽然经常停水,晚上准时停电,可相对于穆西人,镇上的生活已经相当的现代。

Picture 11. The Mursi people live in the Mago National Park. It requires more than an hour of driving through the park to reach where the Mursi people live, and different kinds of animals often appear on the road.Mursi,居住在如今的马果(Mago)国家森林公园,穿过森林公园要一个多小时才能抵达穆西的村子,一路上时常会蹦出各种各样的动物。

Picture 11. The Mursi people live in the Mago National Park. It requires more than an hour of driving through the park to reach where the Mursi people live, and different kinds of animals often appear on the road.
Mursi,居住在如今的马果(Mago)国家森林公园,穿过森林公园要一个多小时才能抵达穆西的村子,一路上时常会蹦出各种各样的动物。

Picture 12. The Mago National Park is Ethiopia's largest and most untamed national park. However, we did not journey from distant parts in order to see animals. The most famous aspect of this park to outsiders might be the Morsi people, who live deep with the Mago National Park. Many animals, including antelope, apes, monkeys, small deer, wild boars continuously appeared next to our car window on our way to the land that the Morsi inhabit.马果国家森林公园,是埃塞俄比亚最大、最有野性的国家公园,不过,我们千里迢迢来这里,可不是来看动物的,这个森林公园里,最为外人所知的,可能就是那个穆西族,这个部族深居在马果森林里,在去往他们聚居地的路上,羚羊、猿猴、小鹿、野猪等等不断的蹦到车窗边儿上。

Picture 12. The Mago National Park is Ethiopia’s largest and most untamed national park. However, we did not journey from distant parts in order to see animals. The most famous aspect of this park to outsiders might be the Morsi people, who live deep with the Mago National Park. Many animals, including antelope, apes, monkeys, small deer, wild boars continuously appeared next to our car window on our way to the land that the Morsi inhabit.
马果国家森林公园,是埃塞俄比亚最大、最有野性的国家公园,不过,我们千里迢迢来这里,可不是来看动物的,这个森林公园里,最为外人所知的,可能就是那个穆西族,这个部族深居在马果森林里,在去往他们聚居地的路上,羚羊、猿猴、小鹿、野猪等等不断的蹦到车窗边儿上。

Picture 13. At the Jinka market. Local handicrafts. Unsophisticated but adorable.金卡市场上,当地的一些手工艺品,笨拙却可爱。

Picture 13. At the Jinka market. Local handicrafts. Unsophisticated but adorable.
金卡市场上,当地的一些手工艺品,笨拙却可爱。

"Picture

Picture 15. Mursi boy and small dog. Compared to adults, children have a bit more curiosity in their eyes.穆西男孩和小狗,相对于大人,孩子们的眼镜里,还有几分的好奇。

Picture 15. Mursi boy and small dog. Compared to adults, children have a bit more curiosity in their eyes.
穆西男孩和小狗,相对于大人,孩子们的眼镜里,还有几分的好奇。

Picture 16. Mursi people live deep inside the national park. In the eyes of other tribes who live in the Omo River Valley, Mursi people are stubborn and intractable. They are closed off, unsociable and eccentric, and do not like to interact with other tribes. They have a quite aggressive nature.居于森林深处的穆西部族,就算在奥莫河谷的其他部落眼里,都是一群桀骜不驯的人,他们,孤僻封闭,不喜欢与其他部族来往,颇具有攻击性。

Picture 16. Mursi people live deep inside the national park. In the eyes of other tribes who live in the Omo River Valley, Mursi people are stubborn and intractable. They are closed off, unsociable and eccentric, and do not like to interact with other tribes. They have a quite aggressive nature.
居于森林深处的穆西部族,就算在奥莫河谷的其他部落眼里,都是一群桀骜不驯的人,他们,孤僻封闭,不喜欢与其他部族来往,颇具有攻击性。

Picture 17. What is most eye-catching about the Mursi people, of course, is their women. They start inserting a certain kind of disk into their lower lip from an early age. Before inserting the disk, a small knife is used to cut open a small hole in the lower lip to separate the lower lip from the gum. A small disk is inserted in the hole to open it up and ensure that it does not heal over. Afterwards, the small disk is exchanged for a larger one. Larger disks are considered a more beautiful look. Parents can receive a bride price of tens of cattle when their daughter marries if she is considered to have a large disk. 穆西族最引人注目的,当然是他的女人,从小就开始练习往嘴里放一种盘子,放盘子之 前,先用小刀将下嘴唇和牙龈之间切开一个口子,使下嘴唇与齿根分离。先放一个小盘子把口子撑开,使其不再长回去,然后再换成大盘子。盘子越大,标志着相貌 越美。如果谁的盘子属于最大的那一种,那么到她出嫁时,父母就可以收到几十头牛的彩礼。

Picture 17. What is most eye-catching about the Mursi people, of course, is their women. They start inserting a certain kind of disk into their lower lip from an early age. Before inserting the disk, a small knife is used to cut open a small hole in the lower lip to separate the lower lip from the gum. A small disk is inserted in the hole to open it up and ensure that it does not heal over. Afterwards, the small disk is exchanged for a larger one. Larger disks are considered a more beautiful look. Parents can receive a bride price of tens of cattle when their daughter marries if she is considered to have a large disk.
穆西族最引人注目的,当然是他的女人,从小就开始练习往嘴里放一种盘子,放盘子之 前,先用小刀将下嘴唇和牙龈之间切开一个口子,使下嘴唇与齿根分离。先放一个小盘子把口子撑开,使其不再长回去,然后再换成大盘子。盘子越大,标志着相貌 越美。如果谁的盘子属于最大的那一种,那么到她出嫁时,父母就可以收到几十头牛的彩礼。

Picture 18. Larger lip disks are considered more beautiful. The Morsi tribe's conception of beauty is of course different from ours. Our guide for the trip into the Mursi village said that Mursi women do not wear their lip disk at all times. When at home, they usually do not insert the disk, only inserting it when going out or dressing up. In this way, it is a little similar to when we wear earrings. Each Morsi woman has several lip disks, with each lip disk having various kinds of patterns on it.唇盘越大越美丽,穆西部族的美,当然与我们不同。穆西村落的向导说,穆西女人带唇盘,也不是每时每刻的,在家里时通常不会带,只有外出或是打扮时才会带上,就有点儿像是我们戴耳环一样,每个穆西女人,都有好几个唇盘,每一个上面都绘上了各种各样的图纹。

Picture 18. Larger lip disks are considered more beautiful. The Morsi tribe’s conception of beauty is of course different from ours. Our guide for the trip into the Mursi village said that Mursi women do not wear their lip disk at all times. When at home, they usually do not insert the disk, only inserting it when going out or dressing up. In this way, it is a little similar to when we wear earrings. Each Morsi woman has several lip disks, with each lip disk having various kinds of patterns on it.
唇盘越大越美丽,穆西部族的美,当然与我们不同。穆西村落的向导说,穆西女人带唇盘,也不是每时每刻的,在家里时通常不会带,只有外出或是打扮时才会带上,就有点儿像是我们戴耳环一样,每个穆西女人,都有好几个唇盘,每一个上面都绘上了各种各样的图纹。

Picture 19. This Mursi woman wanted to sell us her lip disk, but what would we have used it for? After considering it for a while, we could not reach a deal with her. She had no choice but to put her lip disk back on.这个穆西女人想把她的唇盘卖给我们,可是我们拿来做什么呢?想了一想,还是没能成交,没办法,她自己又带上了这个唇盘。

Picture 19. This Mursi woman wanted to sell us her lip disk, but what would we have used it for? After considering it for a while, we could not reach a deal with her. She had no choice but to put her lip disk back on.
这个穆西女人想把她的唇盘卖给我们,可是我们拿来做什么呢?想了一想,还是没能成交,没办法,她自己又带上了这个唇盘。

Picture 20. This Mursi girl has just started wearing a lip disk, a very small, cork-like one. There are a few bloodstains at the corners of her lips. It must be very painful. She uses some ornaments to cover up her lips.这个女孩子,才刚刚开始练习佩戴唇盘,很小的一个木头塞子,嘴角还浸出些血迹,会很疼吧,她用一些饰物把嘴唇遮盖了起来。

Picture 20. This Mursi girl has just started wearing a lip disk, a very small, cork-like one. There are a few bloodstains at the corners of her lips. It must be very painful. She uses some ornaments to cover up her lips.
这个女孩子,才刚刚开始练习佩戴唇盘,很小的一个木头塞子,嘴角还浸出些血迹,会很疼吧,她用一些饰物把嘴唇遮盖了起来。

Picture 21. After we persuaded her to do so, she took off the ornaments she was wearing on her face. More blood started oozing out from the corners of her lips. We asked her whether it was painful. She shook her head.在我们的劝说下,她放下了遮盖脸部的饰物,一说话,嘴角的血迹又浓了一些,问她会疼吗?她摇摇头。

Picture 21. After we persuaded her to do so, she took off the ornaments she was wearing on her face. More blood started oozing out from the corners of her lips. We asked her whether it was painful. She shook her head.
在我们的劝说下,她放下了遮盖脸部的饰物,一说话,嘴角的血迹又浓了一些,问她会疼吗?她摇摇头。

Picture 22. Although the Mursi tribe has been separated from the outside world for a long time, this has not had an impact on their young women’s desire to be beautiful. They dress themselves up in different kinds of ways. However, residents of Jinka town say that when Mursi women come to the market at Jinka, fewer and fewer of them wear lip disks. As they gradually interact with the outside world, they are also gradually influenced by it. Will the concept of lip disks as beautiful also gradually disappear?虽然穆西部族长期与外界隔离,可是一点儿不妨碍女孩子们的爱美之心,她们以各种方式装扮自 己。不过居住在金卡镇里的人说,穆西女人,现在来金卡赶集,带唇盘的也越来越少。他们,逐渐接触了外面的世界,也逐渐受到了外面世界的影响,镶嵌在下嘴唇 里的美丽,会不会也会渐渐的消失了吧?

Picture 22. Although the Mursi tribe has been separated from the outside world for a long time, this has not had an impact on their young women’s desire to be beautiful. They dress themselves up in different kinds of ways. However, residents of Jinka town say that when Mursi women come to the market at Jinka, fewer and fewer of them wear lip disks. As they gradually interact with the outside world, they are also gradually influenced by it. Will the concept of lip disks as beautiful also gradually disappear?
虽然穆西部族长期与外界隔离,可是一点儿不妨碍女孩子们的爱美之心,她们以各种方式装扮自 己。不过居住在金卡镇里的人说,穆西女人,现在来金卡赶集,带唇盘的也越来越少。他们,逐渐接触了外面的世界,也逐渐受到了外面世界的影响,镶嵌在下嘴唇 里的美丽,会不会也会渐渐的消失了吧?

Picture 23. Mursi dwellings and children.穆西的房子和孩子。

Picture 23. Mursi dwellings and children.
穆西的房子和孩子。

Picture 24. Mursi boy. His eyes also have that bestial wildness about them.穆西的男孩子,眼睛里也有兽一样的野性。

Picture 24. Mursi boy. His eyes also have that bestial wildness about them.
穆西的男孩子,眼睛里也有兽一样的野性。

Picture 25. This Mursi boy stared directly at us with a simple, animal-like expression in his eyes. He didn't try to avoid us in any way. We couldn't bear but to say "Salaam, Mursi!" to him. He smiled, and his hitherto tightly drawn face loosened up, and he bended over to our car window, looked at himself left and right in front of the rearview mirror and stuck out his tongue.眼前的这个Mursi男孩,用动物一样简单的眼神直直盯着我们,没有任何的回避,我们忍不住对他说,萨拉姆,Mursi!他,咧了咧嘴,一直紧绷的脸,放松下来,趴到了我们的车窗上,对着倒后镜,左照照,右照照,伸伸舌头。

Picture 25. This Mursi boy stared directly at us with a simple, animal-like expression in his eyes. He didn’t try to avoid us in any way. We couldn’t bear but to say “Salaam, Mursi!” to him. He smiled, and his hitherto tightly drawn face loosened up, and he bended over to our car window, looked at himself left and right in front of the rearview mirror and stuck out his tongue.
眼前的这个Mursi男孩,用动物一样简单的眼神直直盯着我们,没有任何的回避,我们忍不住对他说,萨拉姆,Mursi!他,咧了咧嘴,一直紧绷的脸,放松下来,趴到了我们的车窗上,对着倒后镜,左照照,右照照,伸伸舌头。

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Blacker than those fucking foreign devils [Netease netizen from Guangzhou, Guangdong]: If I say this is disgusting, no one will disagree, right? (Published 2013-01-04 13:03:18) 68 likes

比他妈鬼子还黑 [网易广东省广州市网友]2013-01-04 13:03:18 发表: 如果我说恶心,我想应该没有人反对吧… 顶[68]

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[Netease netizen from Shenzhen, Guangdong]: Respect other people’s culture in the same way that you would want people to not look at you as if you were a dog. (Published 2013-01-04 10:57:24) 31 likes

网易广东省深圳市网友 ip:113.91.*.* 2013-01-04 10:57:24 发表: 尊重人家的文化 就像人家看你不是条狗一样!顶[31]

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Colorful Billy Elliot [Netease netizen from Guangzhou, Guangdong]: These women have it hard. (Published 2013-01-04 13:15:26) 25 likes.

色彩舞动人生 [网易广东省广州市网友] 2013-01-04 13:15:26 发表: 这些女人挺苦的。。顶[25]

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Hamster that likes to sleep [Netease netizen from Spain]: This tribe must not have the custom of kissing! How do they eat? (Published 2013-01-04 23:07:02)

爱睡觉的地鼠 [网易西班牙网友] 2013-01-04 23:07:02 发表: 这个部族应该没有接吻的风俗吧!怎么 吃饭呀 ?

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dhl1202 [Netease netizen from Shanghai]: This is persecution, not beauty. It’s similar to foot binding during the Qing dynasty. (2013-01-04 20:04:40)

[Trans.: Foot binding was the painful custom of binding young girls’s and women’s feet to make them appear smaller. This practice was common in China from around 1000 until the early 20th century.]

dhl1202 [网易上海市网友] 2013-01-04 20:04:40 发表: 这是折磨人,不是美。跟清朝缠小脚一样。

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