Skip to comments.Photographer Helps Rescue Children From Ritualistic Killing (Ethopia)
Posted on 12/30/2012 8:36:16 PM PST by Lorianne
A San Diego photographer who's traveled the world capturing intimate photos of people from Asia, Latin America and Africa is on a mission to stop the ritualistic killing of children in the lower Omo Valley in southwest Ethiopia. A place National Geographic calls the last frontier in Africa.
You may have seen the work of John Rowe on the pages of various publications, including National Geographic.
"I love people and I love photographing people and culture, I think it's so fascinating," Rowe said referring to his life long passion. He's lived in San Diego County for 25 years and was once a photographer for the Navy. But he's now on another mission in one of the most isolated areas in southwest Ethiopia.
There, drought and famine are believed to be a curse by some tribes brought on by children born out of wedlock, born a twin or simply having a chipped tooth. Much of the area remains tribal and is without clean water, electricity or medical care. About 200,000 Ethiopians call this home.
"They don't have an education, they don't have a written language, so trying to explain drought, famine, sickness, death. It's hard for them to know, they don't have access to information," Rowe said.
And for hundreds of years this culture known for its body adornment have been sacrificing children for the good of the entire tribe.
"When I heard that there were children dying, being killed and we could prevent that, just one, if you could save one life in your life that's quite an achievement," Rowe said.
Rowe was on assignment in the Omo Valley when his guide and translator Lale Labuko told him he lost two sisters to the ritual and so he vowed to stop the killing. This past July he did just that. He convinced the elders of the Kara tribe to stop it.
"And Lale told them, 'look, our generation is the future and we are going to be the elders, and we are going to change this for sure,'" Rowe said with a strong voice.
Omo Child has rescued 37 children and they live together in a safe but small home about 25 miles from the tribes. But the challenge is far from over. There are currently 50,000 Hamer people who still practice infanticide. And Rowe and Labuko are still working to convince them to stop.
"And to be able to impact many lives, whether it's here in San diego or in Africa, wherever it is in the world as an American, as a person whose been blessed, you can't ignore your responsibility to give back," Rowe said.
That's what he's trying to do with Omo Child. To see and hear more about the work his organization is doing go to their website.
Over 1/2 of blacks in NYC are killed before they are born.
How dare this man besmirch the glorious label of journalism!
Ritualistic black on black violence is at epidemic proportions in many US cities.
There is also a problem in Nigeria with attacks upon, and abandonment of, children accused of being witches. Terrible.
But, but...I keep hearing that r__e is just a social construct!
“Ritualistic black on black violence is at epidemic proportions in many US cities.”
I have not heard of such, but there is much i’ve not heard about. Can you elaborate; the basis and nature of the rituals, the nature of the violence, etc.?
If you’re referring to the urban gang/territorial turf disagreements, I’m not sure they would qualify as “ritualiastic.”
In some parts of Africa they kill albinos...saw something about it on YouTube a few years ago.
African albinos killed for body organs - 23 Jul 09
Five men in Burundi have been jailed for their part in the murder of 11 albinos whose body organs were sold for witchcraft.
What happened to Darfur?
The cool kids don’t protest Darfur anymore?
Good for the photographer.
Now that Rowe has some experience maybe he wouldn’t mind saving a few babies at his local abortion clinic.
But I thought all cultures were equally valid? Do the Ivy League professors know that this man is interfering with another culture’s values?
"It Takes a Village."
Child abuse is not even reported or noticed in most of this planet.. even in much of Europe..
And where ..is.. noticed it is not reported accurately..
In many places it is a cultural norm... part of the culture like in muslim country’s..
Americans... women especially... are quite delusional..
Have no idea of what actually “goes on”.. i.e. live in a dream world..
Soon after the Station of Equator was established, the residents discovered that a wholesale human traffic was being carried on by the natives of the district between this station and Lake M'Zumba. The captains of the steamers have often assured me that whenever they try to buy goats from the natives, slaves are demanded in exchange; the natives often come aboard with tusks of ivory with the intention of buying a slave, complaining that meat is now scarce in their neighbourhood.
There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that they prefer human flesh to any other. During all the time I lived among cannibal races I never came across a single case of their eating any kind of flesh raw; they invariably either boil, roast or smoke it. This custom of smoking flesh to make it keep would have been very useful to us, as we were often without meat for long periods. We could, however, never buy smoked meat in the markets, it being impossible to be sure that it was not human flesh.
The preference of different tribes for various parts of the human body is interesting. Some cut long steaks from the flesh of the thighs, legs or arms; others prefer the hands and feet; and though the great majority do not eat the head, I have come across more than one tribe which prefers this to any other part. Almost all use some part of the intestines on account of the fat they contain.
A young Basongo chief came to our Commandant while at dinner in his tent and asked for the loan of his knife, which, without thinking, the Commandant gave him. He immediately disappeared behind the tent and cut the throat of a little slave-girl belonging to him, and was in the act of cooking her when one of our soldiers saw him. This cannibal was immediately put in irons, but almost immediately after his liberation he was brought in by some of our soldiers who said he was eating children in and about our cantonment. He had a bag slung round his neck which, on examining it, we found contained an arm and leg of a young child.
A man with his eyes open has no difficulty in knowing, from the horrible remains he is obliged to pass on his way, what people have preceded him, on the road or battlefield with this difference: that on a battlefield he will find those parts left to the jackals which the human wolves have not found to their taste; whereas on the road, by the smouldering camp fires, are the whitening bones, cracked and broken, which form the relics of these disgusting banquets. What struck me most, during my expeditions throughout the country, was the number of partially cut-up bodies I found. Some of them were minus the hands and feet, and some with steaks cut from the thighs or elsewhere; others had the entrails or head removed. Neither old nor young, women or children, are exempt from serving as food for their conquerors or neighbours.
Sidney Langford Hinde (former captain of the Congo Free State Force), The Fall of the Congo Arabs, Methuen, 1897
What else would you call it but a ritual where blacks seek out other blacks for beatings and murder for little or no provocation?