Mursi: Nitha

52 minutes / Colour / 1991
Directed by
Leslie Woodhead

Anthropologist David Turton

Country of production United Kingdom

Series Disappearing World Series

The proper time for a man to go through the Age Set Ceremony, the nitha, is just as he reaches physical maturity. But many years may elapse from one nitha to the next, so it is inevitable that some men will be well past this stage before they become "adults". Thus the occasion of this nitha, performed by the Mursi of Southwest Ehtiopia, gives adulthood to an entire generation for the first time in thirty years. The ceremony affirms individual identities as adults as well as their group identity as Mursi. The ceremony is performed admidst fears that this may be the last nitha. The continuing attacks on the tribe by the Bume and other neighbouring enemies using automatic weapons and the constant threat of drought and famine all undermine the existence of the Mursi.

Language and subtitles English with English Subtitles

Region North and Northeast Africa

Country Ethiopia

Keywords Ritual Social Conflict Gender Role and Identity