Portraits from An Unpleasant Trip | 一次不愉快的旅拍

in HIVE CN 中文社区2 months ago (edited)


This week's Deranged Photography Contest theme is Portraits, and I missed the previous theme, Hit Me with Your Best Shot. So some tribe portraits came to mind. Instead of my Best Shots, these are among my least favorites.

Does that sound strange? It was indeed a strange experience for me, so much so that I didn't go through these photos until today. Visiting tribes sounds exotic, and most of the experiences were truly fun for me. I have previously shared some of them already on Steemit. I enjoyed those natural moments and genuine interactions when the lovely kids voluntarily posed in front of my camera, and when the friendly locals granted me permission to photograph them on their land...

However, there was a time in southern Ethiopia when I had unpleasant experiences. It's in the Mursi tribe where women traditionally wear plates at their lower lips. The discs are typically made of clay, though some are made of wood. They have patterns painted on them and vary in size, as you can see in my photos. I suppose it hurt when they first started inserting the plate into their lips as teenagers, but for the tribal women, it's a symbol of beauty and identity, so they're very proud of it.


I started a road trip to the south with another solo female traveler I met in the capital, and we were escorted to this Mursi tribal village by a local guide. I recall paying an entrance fee to the Mago National Park where the village was, and as tourists, it was not surprising to see the tribe people asking again for money for photos. I saw the lip plates being removed while the women were doing chores, but they quickly put them back when visitors approached.

It became disturbing when they kept touching me to ask for tips, even when I was just walking around without photographing them. I didn't mind paying for photos, but it was getting increasingly difficult for me to simply walk around in peace. I also began to blame myself as a curious tourist who might have contributed to the over-tourism.

When the mood or vibe isn't right, I just don't feel like shooting. I was uneasy and hesitant to take pictures because they always appeared aggressive. As a result, I only took 5 photos in this village (3 portraits and 2 landscapes), which is far fewer than usual.

Since I didn't enjoy those photos, I never edited or posted them before. When I look at them now, over 5 years later, these only 3 portraits from then seem precious. Although they are not closeups focusing on the lip plates as I had intended, they captured the characters of the people there, at least to me on that day of my visit.

So, I thought it might be interesting to share this lesson and the unique tribe culture with you here. How about you? Do you have any similar travel or shooting experience?



虽然看起来猎奇,但那次旅行和拍摄经历并不愉快,因为不喜欢这些照片,也就没去整理发布,直到今天才再来回看。 以前分享过一些探访其他部落的照片和经历,那些都是在自然友好的互动中产生的,所以是美好的体验,而唇盘族部落之行给我留下的印象却很差。




All content by @itchyfeetdonica. Thank you for visiting!
图文 by Donica,谢谢来访!=)

For the best experience view this post on Liketu



真的好多这种陷阱 我十多年前去过那个泰国的长颈村 还有其他部落 但都没有像这个这么咄咄逼人地围追堵截 简直到了极致



Love the portrait that has been taken ;). Thumb up.

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mmm... i get what you mean, it is very uncomfortable to look at, just like the long neck tribe in Thailand. Cultural diversity is so great in this world.

Yeah... I also visited that long neck tribe in Thailand, but the people there were not so aggressive.

It's sad that they were only after money, but I guess that was the only source of income :( ... Definitely ruins the experience though 😢

!LUV that you shared this!

This post has been manually curated by the VYB curation project

天啊,你拍的耶... 跟原始部落人直接面對面... 好魔幻啊~~~ 我以為都是National Geo的人才會去那種地方呢~~~~ 話說,你似乎挺適合去NaGeo工作耶... 或是Discovery之類的... 😁


Great shots! The plates are indeed quite strange to look at.

Thanks for dropping by!

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It really looks discomforting. But I bet it's not as bad as we think to these people because they grew up with it.

So it wasn't as fun a trip as I would have thought. Over-tourism 🤦🏾‍♂️. The locals are really taking aggressive advantage of the whole thing. Well, such is life.

Excelente trabajo, me agrado todo lo vivido, gracias por compartir, te dejo mi voto y te sigo, saludos.