ETHIOPIA - Stick fighting - Saguine

Work in progress

2013
A sport and ritual the Surma (or Suri) take extremely seriously is stick fighting. In most cases, stick fighting is done so young men can find wives. It is a way for young men to prove themselves to the young women. To the Suri, the ideal time to stick fight is just after it rains. The fights are held between Suri villages, and the fights begin with 20 to 30 people on each side. Of these 20 to 30 people, all get a chance to fight one on one against someone from the other side. During these fights there are referees present to make sure all rules are being followed. Many stick fights end within the first couple of hits. Stick fighting has proven to be dangerous because people have died from being hit in the stomach. Since stick fighting draws a large audience, it becomes a threat of danger. Shooting can easily break out and this seems to be the new trend for young Surma men; using guns instead of sticks.

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