Bracelets are an important part of the jewelry of all of the tribes of Omo Valley ethnic groups. Many groups wear simple brass bracelet such as the ones from Aari on the opposite page, while others have their own unmistakable style as the Mursi, who decorate their bracelets with lines of dots.

In many places bracelets are given to girls by their fathers for the work they are doing for them on the fields. For example, the dunda were given in formers times to girls in Aari when they married. The father of a girl would exchange tow cows for twenty dunda (ten for each arm of his daughter), which he then gave to his daughter as a reward for the work she had done in his house.

But bracelets are not only worn for beauty. Girls can rub the rows of bracelets they wear on both arms against each other while dancing and produce a rhythmic sound for the dancers. The wrist knives from Nyangatom can be used as a weapon during fights.Image

Metal bracelets are made by local blacksmiths. These are usually outcast by the people amongst whom they live. Even though jewelry and tools made by them are highly appreciated, and blacksmith also often have a ritual function, they have to live on the outskirts of settlements and intermarriage with them is prohibited.


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