The Surma, a pastoral people, originate from the remote plateaus of southwestern Ethiopia, near the border of Sudan. On festive occasions, Surmas decorate their bodies using chalk and earth pigments to create patterns. Youngsters begin learning the art of body painting at an early age by imitating their parents. Possessing little in the way of material things, the Surma's bodyart is their prime means of artistic expression. Close friends often paint their faces with identical designs to reveal their bond with one another, as you see with these children.

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