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Posted by Duane H. Feisel at 2010-07-23 17:52

Thanks for presenting such an informative site in such an orderly manner. I found it to be especially interesting inasmuch as I will be visiting a Mursi village as part of a small group on October 8, and hopefully will enjoy a cultural exchange at that time. Especially interesting to me was the reading of the material on lip-plates that you provided from David Turton (this article should be read by every traveller visiting a native village anywhere in the world) and Shauna Latosky.

I have a trained eye for proofreading, and you may be interested in correcting the very few typographic errors I encountered while reading EVERYTHING on your site:

Environment: (turgiyai), Maerua (kamaloi), Sporobolus (keri) and Ricinus (balathi)). Note the extra right parentheses at the end of the sentence.

National Parks: APF’ management of the Omo Park began in January 2006. Note APF' should be APF’s

Film and Video: Television documentaries: helped to convince the elders of the urgency of creating a new set Note that a period is needed after set

When I carefully went through your full site last night I did find another case of ))., but am unable to locate that second occurrence now.

Which leads me to one other confusing issue that caused me to lose what I have prepared as Comments. You have a SAVE button – is that the same as SEND?

Your comments

Posted by Mursi Online Administration at 2010-07-23 19:28
Many thanks for this helpful feedback. Please note that we've now changed the 'SAVE' button to 'SEND'. We hope you have an enjoyable trip to the Omo!


Posted by Getaneh Admassu at 2011-05-20 10:27
First i would like to tank very well for what ever you do specially your hared work around that area. studding culture in our entire world can have its own significance in the social economic activities of ones country.
pleas tray to to teach those peoples to stop the culture of Females lip cutting during there age of adolescence. have anise time as well as beast luck!

Your comment

Posted by Mursi Online Administration at 2011-05-20 11:27
Thank you for this comment. The custom of wearing lip plates will undoubtedly die out amongst the Mursi, as it has in other parts of the world, particularly as a result of the education of girls. It is a great pity, however, that tour operators deliberately use the lip plate as a symbol of 'primitiveness', in their efforts to promote tourism to the southwest. This does a disservice to both the Mursi and to the tourists.

Comentario sobre o site

Posted by Sara Dias at 2010-09-28 10:32

Nossa, amei o site. Estou coordenando um grupo no colégio para um projeto chamado África e Brasil Africano, precisava pesquisar sobre algumas tribos africanas, entre elas, o povo Mursi. Encontrei esse site e fiquei MUUUUUUITO satisfeita com o conteúdo excelente, as fotos, os tópicos, um trabalho completo e maravilhoso. Acho que vou tirar 10 nesse projetoo ;DDD

Estão de parabéns ;D

[Portuguese to English translation: Wow, I loved the site. I am coordinating a high school group for a project called Africa and African Brazil, we needed to find out about some African tribes, including the Mursi people. I found this site and was VERRRRRY impressed with the zillions of great content, photos, topics, and a wonderful and comprehensive work. I think I'll give this Project a 10 out of 10; ;DDD

Congratulations! ;D ]


Posted by ivan olivieri at 2011-07-11 09:03

ora piu' che mai il vostro lavoro e' fondamentale per far si che tutti noi abitanti del pianeta possano sperare ad avere un futuro,senza popoli indigeni che proteggono la natura, non ce futuro,,,,grazie di cuore, ivan

[Italian to English translation: Now more than ever, your work is essential to ensure that all of us inhabitants of the planet can hope to have a future. Without indigenous peoples to protect nature, there is no future... thank you, ivan]

Movie doesn't play

Posted by LH at 2012-03-23 10:26
Connection fails for this movie at

Thank you.

Movie doesn't play

Posted by David at 2012-03-23 10:46
Many thanks for contacting us about this. I'm afraid there is a problem with our server which has made film and video clips temporarily unavailable. We are planning to move them to a new server shortly and, in the longer run, to make them available through video websites such as YouTube and Vimeo. Meanwhile we can only apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

language sounds

Posted by bebe at 2012-04-21 17:03
We are wondering about the ways in which Mursi girls and women adapt their speech to the fact that they can't close their lips - does the language have no sounds which require the lips to meet? Thanks.

Language sounds

Posted by David Turton at 2012-04-21 17:16
The effect of the lip-plate on women’s speech amongst the Chai (Suri), who speak the same language as the Mursi, has been studied by Dr Moges Yigezu, of Addis Ababa University’s Department of Linguistics. He found that while wearing a lip plate, a woman ‘cannot properly articulate bilabial and labio-dental sounds’ and that ‘bilabial sounds may be replaced by switching to an alveolar point of articulation’. Thus for example, ‘bi’ (cow) may become ‘di’ and ‘ma’ (water) may become ‘nga’. He also found that ‘women seem to retain their female variety of Chai even when they do not wear the lip plate...’ (‘Women in society and female speech among the Suri of southwestern Ethiopia’ (G.J. Dimmendaal and M. Last (eds.) Surmic Languages and Cultures, Rüdiger Köppe Verlag, Köln, 1998, pp. 97-99.)

The same author provides a more details and systematic account of ‘lip-plate speech’ amongst the Chai in ‘Articulatory and acoustic effects of lip-plate speech in Chai and its implications for phonological theory’, Journal of the International Phonetic Association, Vol. 31, Issue 2, 2001, pp. 203-221). Here's the abstract:

'The custom of lip-plate insertion, as practiced by the Chai people, has an effect on the speech of women since it alters articulators needed for speech production: the lower lip and the lower incisors. Due to the effect of this practice, women cannot produce bilabial and dental consonants in their own language. Vowels are also affected, but the presence of the lip-plate does not affect the tonal system. This study further examines ways in which the lower lip and lower incisor mutilations are compensated for, and the acoustic effects involved in the `lip-plate speech' as well as its implications for phonological theory.'

I hope this helps!


Posted by bebe at 2012-04-23 08:51
Thank you David Turton - this is very informative! I hadn't realized the lower incisors were altered in any way as well. I suppose the next questions concern eating and drinking, but that will be a different expert? In any case, I'll try to find the texts you referred to. thanks again.

Origin and History

Posted by Johanna Boyd at 2012-05-26 10:52
I think that information on the the origin of the Mursi would be very helpful, because the history provided simply gives a brief and recent overview of their migrations. Furthermore, it would be nice if the images within the image gallery gave a brief summary about the events taking place.
Thank you. This site has been very helpful for my research.
Johanna Boyd

Origin and History

Posted by Mursi Online Administration at 2012-05-26 16:32
Many thanks for these suggestions. They come at a good time because, over the next few months, we are planning to make a number of improvements to the website which is now more than four years old. We are glad to know that you have found it useful.


Posted byBereket at 2012-07-18 10:47
I like this home


Posted byhue gass at 2012-11-03 09:45
these lip things are gross yo, they shoudnt be doin' that its ugly af not attractive

your article

Posted byjalen at 2012-11-03 09:46
I am trying to figure out who is the publisher of this article.. can you tell me?
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