In pictures captured by photographer Jeremy Hunter, a tribal ceremony by members of the Hamar tribe in Ethiopia shows a rather brutal tradition where young women are whipped in order to show the sacrifices they make for men.
Members of the tribe believe the elaborate scars demonstrate a woman’s capacity for love, and if they fall on hard times later in life it allows them to call on those who whipped them for help.
In the tradition known as Ukuli Bula, women are whipped as part of a Rite of Passage ceremony for boys, when female family members declare their love for the young man at the heart of the celebration. The boy is then allowed to marry since the ceremony makes him a man.
The women instead of fleeing beg men to whip them again during the ceremony held in the Omo River Valley, an article on the Mail Online reports.
Once whipped, the girls proudly show off their scars as a proof of their courage and integrity. Some whipping appears to be tender, others more aggressive.
A key element of the ceremony is the whipping of young women who are family members or relatives of the boy undertaking the Rite-of-Passage.
The women trumpet and sing, extolling the virtues of the Jumper, declaring their love for him and for their desire to be marked by the whip. They coat their bodies with butter to lessen the effect of the whipping which is only carried out by Maza – those who have already undergone this Rite-of-Passage.