Hamer Tribe Wedding Tradition

CompanyCalatrava International LLC
PhotographerMario Bejagan Cardenas
PrizeGold in Book / Documentary
Entry Description

The Hamer are a tribal people in the southern Region of Ethiopia, an isolated people whose traditional lifestyle has been untouched for years. They have a rite of passage called the Bull Jumping Ceremony where the men leap over a line of cattle to prove they have reached "adulthood" and can raise a family. If he fails, he cannot marry and will be beaten by the watching women. At the end of the leap ceremony, flirting occurs during the ceremonial tribal dance between the men and women. Ritual beatings with canes and scarring with thorns are carried out by a group of men called 'Maza', until the women's backs are left bloody. The scars are proof of their courage, strength, integrity and capacity for love. A huge dowry is offered in the form of cattle and other “wealth” to the woman’s family.

About Photographer

Mario Cardenas is an architect by profession with 15 yrs professional experience, currently working w/ Santiago Calatrava architects & engineers in Dubai office. Mario is UAE-based Filipino photographer & has been making his mark in international photography competitions since 2010. Mario’s passion & talent in photography are manifested through numerous accolades and honors for his works, garnering more than 350 awards from various international competitions in the: USA, UK, Canada, France, Australia, Austria, Germany, China, Singapore, Japan, Qatar, Egypt, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, London, UAE & the Philippines. A visionary photographer & self-taught artist, Mario produces distinctive & stand-out images by elucidation of diversity and vibrancy of subjects with story-telling captured from idiosyncratic perspectives. Never resting on his laurels, he continually evolve as an artistic photographer as he competes in photography competitions around the world. Mario's goal is to travel extensively and document exotic places with essential human elements especially vanishing cultures & unique traditions. He dreams to curate his own photography exhibitions & galleries & his works featured in local & international publications. Some notable awards he received from across a wide variety of genre are: 82 Awards at IPA 2017, Ph. in different categories 3 Gold, 1 Silver, & 2 Honourable Awards at IPA 2016, Ph,USA, Gold Award at PX3 2014, Paris, Grand Prize won a H5D-40 Hassleblad camera at Fujairah Photo Awards 2014, UAE, Grand Prize at Photograph of the Year 2013, Australia, Grand Prize at Milset Photography Award 2015, UK, Grand Prize (Architecture) at Humanity Photography Award 2014, China, Grand Prize (Professional) at Sony Imaging Challenge 2012, UAE, Photographer of the Year Award at The Filipino Times Awards 2015, UAE, 1st Place at HIPA Humanitarian Photo Awards 2014, UAE, Winner at HIPA Rehlatna Photo Competition 2014, UAE, Winner at Allard Prize Int’l. Photo Awards 2014, Columbia, 3rd Place at WPO Sony Int’l Photo Awards 2015, UK, 1st Place at BW Spider Awards 2015, USA,