Omo Valley – Ethiopia

Lip plate of the Mursi people called “Debbi”

The Mursi are one of the most characteristic tribes of the Omo River Valley and comprises around 10.000 individuals.
The majority of the women wear this lip plate or “Debbi” that can reach up to 16 cm diameter. This one measures 12 cm. The most popular theory is that the plate was used in order to make women less attractive in the eyes of slave traders … others believe it is a sort of social initiation as well as being a symbol of tribal identity.
From: Etiopia Emozioni di Viaggio – Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato pages 257-261

ETHIOPIA: Danakil, Salt Plain


“Amoliè” is a parallelepiped made of salt that was excavated in Danakil, at Assalè, in the Salt Plain. The collecting of salt in Danakil dates back to ancient times. A first evidence appears in the writings of Cosma Indicopleuste, a Sirian merchant of the 6th century A.D. More recently, the Portuguese Jesuits who worked as missionaries in Ethiopia in the early 17th century A.D. , have talked about it, and particularly Manoel d’Almeida . Over the centuries it has been used as a form of money. Loads full of salt are transported by camel from the the Salt Plain, at 125 m. under the sea level, to the Ethiopian plateau, at an altitude of over 2000 m.

Cambodia and China

Opium pipes

The opium pipes can be made of several materials: metal, bamboo, ivory. In this case the first is made of bamboo with some parts of jade and silver, the second is made of bronze and


Detail of a Chinese ivory statue depicting a fisherman dated 1950.


Ostrich egg

The ostrich egg is used by the Bushmen as a water bottle. This was painted by the Bushmen in Nhoma.