Saturday, 17 January 2015

Omo Child | Mingi

"I am one of the victims of mingi. Last year my daughter was declared teeth mingi because her teeth showed from the top first instead of the bottom. In my mind it was unthinkable to drown my own child in the river. I swore to God no one would kill my own flesh and blood. I will be the first Kara man to stand up to the elders." -Hylo Ari 

Mingi is the traditional belief among the Karo and Hamar tribes in southern Ethiopia that adults and children with physical abnormalities are ritually impure, and some of them believe evil spirits or a “curse” will bring ill fortune to their villages if Mingi children are not killed. Mandated by the tribes' elders, the afflicted child will be left alone in the bush without food and water, or will be drowned in  rivers.

Filmed over a five year period, the film makers of Omo Child followed Lale Labuko, a young educated man from the Karo tribe and his relentless journey with the people of his tribe as they attempt to change an ancient practice. Labuko, a 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer, learned about the practice of Mingi and how he made it his life mission to end ritual infanticide in his tribe's culture.

Omo Child: The River and the Bush has been selected for the DC Independent Film Festival and will premiere February 25th, opening night of the festival.