The Hamer control a significantly large territory starting from the Omo River to Lake Chew Bahir. Their numbers are estimated to be around 35,000 and they speak an Omotic tongue endemic to the area and are given to accessorize heavily with women donning leather skirts decorated with shells, several copper bracelets around their arms and heavy iron necklaces around their necks while their hair is dyed with ochre and somewhat resembles a type of dreadlocks in the way they wear it. Hamer men can have clay hair buns on their heads signifying that they have killed a person or large animal within the past year but are otherwise lightly adorned except for some body scarification which both men and women apply by cutting themselves and treating the wound with charcoal and ash.
The Hamer are known for their almost religious zeal for the coming-of-age ritual called “Ekuli” (also practiced by other tribes) where an initiate vaults onto the back of one bull out of around thirty held side by side, and then proceeds to run across the bulls’ backs without falling, should he succeed, he has to do it all over again at least twice.
If he succeeds then he may take a wife, but if he fails he will have to wait a year and try again. This bull jumping ceremony is a three day long initiation held after the harvest time, between July and March. Evangadi the cultural dance of the Hamer people is another impressive attraction not to be missed. Evangadi Night dances take place on a regular basis and are usually associated with crop harvests, the full moon, peace and stability. They are also where unmarried women and young men come together to meet, dance, and enjoy relations