Wearable Waste: this Ethiopian tribe turns trash into a talking-point

i

Photo: Eric Lafforgue

Wearable Waste: this Ethiopian tribe turns trash into a talking-point

i

Photo: Eric Lafforgue

Wearable Waste: this Ethiopian tribe turns trash into a talking-point

i

Photo: Eric Lafforgue

Wearable Waste: this Ethiopian tribe turns trash into a talking-point

i

Photo: Eric Lafforgue

Wearable Waste: this Ethiopian tribe turns trash into a talking-point

i

Photo: Eric Lafforgue

Wearable Waste: this Ethiopian tribe turns trash into a talking-point

i

Photo: Eric Lafforgue

Wearable Waste: this Ethiopian tribe turns trash into a talking-point

i

Photo: Eric Lafforgue

Wearable Waste: this Ethiopian tribe turns trash into a talking-point

i

Photo: Eric Lafforgue

Wearable Waste: this Ethiopian tribe turns trash into a talking-point

i

Photo: Eric Lafforgue

Wearable Waste: this Ethiopian tribe turns trash into a talking-point

i

Photo: Eric Lafforgue

Wearable Waste: this Ethiopian tribe turns trash into a talking-point

i

Photo: Eric Lafforgue

Wearable Waste: this Ethiopian tribe turns trash into a talking-point

i

Photo: Eric Lafforgue

AFRICA ART

Wearable Waste: this Ethiopian tribe turns trash into a talking-point

Priyata Brajabasi @PriyataB

If wearable everything is in vogue, this Ethiopian tribe has certainly been ahead of the curve for years.

They take trash - everything ranging from bottle caps and hair clips to old wristwatches - and turn them into stunning headdresses and jewellery, both for the young and old.

It's a craft stunningly documented by Eric Lafforgue, a French photographer who has spent several years exploring the customs of this semi-nomadic tribe known as 'The Daasanach'. Portraits, as well as the landscapes inhabited by some of the world's remote tribes are some of Eric's favourite subjects.

About 50,000 people are part of the tribe and they love to re-appropriate discarded objects and manufactured goods. According to Lafforgue, "Younger girls and children get the most basic version of the wig, while the oldest women are treated to the heaviest numbers with the most embellishment."

The Daasanech are originally cattle herders but due to the harsh territory, they have moved to grow crops and fish. Cattle are used by tribesmen for meat, milk and clothing. Of all the tribes in the Omo Valley, the Daasanech are the poorest.

Yet, they have a love for embellishment, matched by a love of dance. "Their goal is to build something that shines, glistens, and makes noise when they dance. Dassanech children love to dance. They bang on the ground until a cloud of dust builds. Some of these children already wear bottle-cap hats. Usually, members of the tribe are eager to sell anything they fashion. However, when it comes to the bottle-cap hats, they refuse. They consider them part of their identity now."

Here, a selection of images from the photographer's amazing body of work with the tribe.

Priyata Brajabasi

Priyata Brajabasi @PriyataB