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ICYMI: Ethiopian Recycled Accessories

By Team LAD

Daasanach, an Ethiopian tribe, recycles modern world’s discards into fashion accessories. They are a semi-nomadic tribe numbering approximately 50,000 individuals who live in the Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia.

Over the last fifty years, the Daasanach have evolved as a tribe who herded cattle from place-to-place, according to weather patterns and water availability, into agriculturists, settling in areas closer to the Omo River to cultivate enough crops to survive. During the past several years, French Photographer Eric Lafforgue has spent time documenting the life and culture of these people, and how they changed under the influence of modern manufactured goods.

Recently, a current fashion trend has risen among the Daasanach; they have began to create elaborate headgear from recycled materials, such as bottle caps, wrist watches, and hairclips. To prevent their headgear from spoiling during their sleep, the Daasanach create elaborate, wooden “neck-pillows.” The headgear gear takes weeks to make and there’s no way they will ruin them for a nap.

According to The Daily Mail, “the younger girls and children get the most basic version of the wig, while the oldest women are treated to the heaviest numbers with the most embellishment.” The Daily Mail also mentioned that the men of the tribe are only allowed to wear the bottle top wigs until they marry. After marriage, the men create small clay headpieces decorated with a colorful harlequin pattern. It is sometimes enlivened with a feather if they had a successful clash with an enemy, or after hunting. Read up on this uplifting story.

(via Amusing Planet)

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