Ethiopian Fashion Tribe

turns nature into Haute Couture

written by: Messynessychic | 19-08-2020

Ethiopian tribe boy white flowers article on Thursd

Remember when you tried to get creative and bejewel your jean shorts or decorate your new tennis shoes with a Sharpie pen? Well, this is not that. In the Omo Valley of southern Ethiopia, the Surma and Mursi people don’t have glue guns, sewing machines, sequins or Sharpies to accessorize with. Inspired by the tools and textiles provided by nature alone, these ancient African tribes manage to create their own unique fashion that could easily rival and certainly influence the avant-garde looks of Haute Couture Fashion Weeks around the world.


Ethiopian tribe purple flowers article on Thursd


These rare photographs of what is believed to be among the most unique and remote tribal people in the world were captured by German-born artist Hans Silvester. Born in 1938, with an impressive career behind him, Hans has documented everything from the ravages of deforestation in the Amazon to the lives of women in the Great Indian Desert.


Ethiopian tribe boys photos article on Thursd


Body accessories and spectacular avant-garde looking headpieces are made with just flowers, leaves, grass, shells and animal horns. They have an exquisite and innate sense of form, shape and color.


Ethiopian tribe boy whith feathers article on Thursd


Because they are a nomadic people without permanent architecture on which to express their art, they use their bodies as their canvases, embellishing their skin with mineral pigments from powdered volcanic rock and dressing in “textiles” obtained from the natural world around them.


Ethiopian tribe girl with yellow flowers flowers article on Thursd

Ethiopian tribe headpiece article on Thursd


Hans Silvester has two books featuring his stunning photographs. Photographs are via the Marlborough Gallery

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