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Selina | From the river banks of Southern Ethiopia

Written by Kerry Manson

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Posted on May 06 2021

Giovanna Aryafara started her life-long passion for photography 40 years ago in Sydney, Australia. She travels to Ethiopia yearly now, which takes her to the Omo Valley. The borderland of southwestern Ethiopia and Sudan, which she has visited a number of times.

On one of my trips I had a unique experience that brought me really close to the Suri Tribe, I even camped with them by the river. I stayed with them and lived their lives as they would. This is where I got the chance to meet a young Selina. 

Throughout the years Selina taught me about her body painting and explained that she has been painting her body and face since she was a very young girl. Her mother taught her the tradition and as Selina grew older, she developed her own style.

She uses crushed rocks and natural ochres from the riverbed to make the natural body paint. She also adorns herself with wildflowers, fruit, and seed pods. She explained to me that this is a seasonal kind of styling, and as the seasons change so does her adornment. Her charm and uniqueness still stay with me today.

The more time we spent together, the more I felt her love for creativity and the unique artistry that she has developed. As a fellow artist myself, I have a deep respect for her as an artist who is expressing her own unique self through the inspiration of nature and I cannot wait to see her again.
Giovanna Aryafara
Click the image below to purchase this beautiful print.
Selina