Images of the amazing people of the Omo Valley

The Omo River is an important river of southern Ethiopia. Its course is entirely contained within the boundaries of Ethiopia, and empties into Lake Turkana on the border with Kenya.The lower valley of the Omo is currently believed by some to have been a crossroads for thousands of years as various cultures and ethnic groups migrated around the region. To this day, the people of the Lower Valley of the Omo, including the Mursi, Suri, Nyangatom, Dizi and Me’en, are studied for their diversity. Jules Borelli was the first European explorer to thoroughly explore the upper and middle reaches of the Omo in the 1880s. Italian explorer Vittorio Bottego reached the Omo river on 29 June 1896 during his second African expedition (1895–97), dying during this expedition on 17 March 1897. Herbert Henry Austin and his men reached the Omo delta on 12 September 1898, and found that an Ethiopian expedition, led by Ras Wolda Giyorgis, had previously planted Ethiopian flags on the northern shore of Lake Turkana on 7 April, as well as having plundered the locals and reduced them to poverty.

These images were taken during my motorcycle journey across the Omo Valley in 2013. It was my intention to portray the beauty found in this amazing part of the world and especially in its people. A special thanks has to go to my wonderful guide and friend Lalo Desse “lalotravel@gmail.com”

Spencer Montero
Photographer

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