The Banna tribe is also a small group of people and compared to the rest of the tribes, they have nothing unique to offer besides the fact that they control the economy of the Omo valley. They are known to be good entrepreneurs and this has earned them a place to be running all the markets that are found in the valley and they also offer entrepreneur skills for all those that need them.
All the above tribes have a lot to offer to tourists who visit the valley and they also have different cultural practices of the different tribes that are found in the Omo valley include:
They have value for cattle that is the more cattle that you have the more prestigious you are in the community.
They eat almost everything on cattle that is the meat, milk and the blood that is cooked and dried to eat during the times when the food is scarce.
They have the bull jumping ceremony where boys are supposed to jump over the bulls without falling in order to be considered men.
The women in these tribes are respected according to the dowry that is paid for them. The more the cows, the more respect they get and the reverse is true.
The Banna people, or Benna, or Bena, or Banya, are a Nilotic ethnic group in Ethiopia and known for keeping bees. They live in an area around Chari Mountain near Kako Town and a savanna area near Dimeka. They speak Hamer-Banna, which they share substantially with the Hamer. The Banna, approximately 45,000 in number, are a mainly agricultural people who inhabit the highlands east of the Omo River. They also practice pastoralism, hunting, and gathering. Cattle and goats provide milk and meat, as well as hides for clothing, shelter and sleeping mats. They are primarily Muslim, however, several thousand are Christian, and they have their own king.
They are neighbors with the Hamer tribe and it is believed that the Banna actually originated from them centuries ago. The markets in Key Afer and Jinka are often visited by them. Just like most of the indigenous tribes in the lower Omo Valley, the Banna practice ritual dancing and singing. Their look is very similar to the Hamer and are often called the Hamer-Banna. Common rituals and traditions of other tribes are shared by the Banna. Women of the tribe wear beads in their hair that is held together with butter.
The Banna people came out of Hamer people as a result of disagreement and migration in search of better pastures to breed their cattle. Most of the Banna are cattle breeders. Herds belonging to the Bana consist mainly of cattle, although there are some sheep and goats. Camels are used for riding and as pack animals. Most Banna plant fields of sorghum at the beginning of the rainy season before leaving on their annual nomadic journey. During the dry season, the men walk long distances with their herds looking for water and grass, and also to harvest wild honey. Honey collection is now one of their major activities when not herding.
The Banna live in camps that consist of several related families. The families live in tents arranged in a circle, and the cattle are brought into the center of the camp at night. When the campsite is being set up, beds for the women and young children are built first; then the tent frame is built around it. The tents are constructed with flexible poles set in the ground in a circular pattern. The poles are bent upward, joining at the top, then tied. The structures are covered with thatch during the dry season and canvas mats during the rainy season. Men and older boys usually sleep on cots in the center of the camp, near the cattle.
Banna society consists of a complex system of age groups. To pass from one age group to another involves complicated rituals. Just like the Hamer people, in order for young Banna tribesmen to qualify for marriage, own cattle and have children, they must face up to a unique dare, known as the bull-leaping ceremony. It’s also a rite of passage to mark the boys’ coming of age. Cows are lined up in a row. Each boy, naked, has to make four clean runs over the backs the cows, without falling. Success gains him the right to marry. During this impressive display, the young man is accompanied by women of his tribe. They dance and sing, encouraging him.
Men may marry as many women as they like, but only within their own tribe. A “bride price” of cattle and other goods is provided by the prospective husband and his near relatives. A typical household consists of a woman, her children, and a male protector. A man may be the protector of more than one household, depending on the number of wives he has. Also, men are sometimes assigned the responsibility of protecting a divorced woman, a widow, or the wife of an absent husband (usually his brother). Marriage celebrations include feasting and dancing. Young girls as well as boys are circumcised.
These men are part of the bull jumping ceremony, when a man must jump over 10 bulls to have the right to marry a woman. During the ceremony, the women from the jumper family ask the whippers to whip them, to show how brave they are. It is very violent, lot of blood and scars, but nobody complains. The game is to be whipped and whipped again, without showing any pain, and some girls even fight to be the first to be whipped. After jumping the bulls, the man will become whipper for 6 months, having a special look, no s3x, and traveling all around the area.