Love Symbols of the Suri

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


This post courtesy BBC Earth. For more wildlife news, find BBC Earth on Facebook and Posterous.

Status symbols appear in different forms all over the world. From a crown, to a scar, to a family name: each visible denotation can be attributed to a significant event or an accomplishment, and especially when it comes to marriage.

However as symbols change over time, or differ as a response to the cultural environment. One thing remains the same, and it is mankind’s want to remain conscious of and give example to its unique cultural values. For the Suri people of Southwest Ethiopia, it is the fierce competition for land and highly prized cattle that determines many of its traditions, and consequently, its status symbols.

Even in an unstable region such as the grasslands, these self-sufficient people have found a power and confidence in their own culture that has meant many ancient traditions have stayed at the forefront of their lives today. However as times change and individuals roles develop, sensitive changes are beginning to take place. For the Suri, each household is run by the female. She controls the sale of beer and grain, and it is only in her marriage that a family’s most important symbol of status—cattle—can be obtained.

However the ingrained process by which marriage happens, is evolving. In the video below, we are given example of the changing attitudes to a status symbol that although has proved to still be incredibly significant to some… for others, is becoming something of the past.

Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate