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Surma Mursi and Menit

Surma is the collective name for the Suri, the Mursiand the Me'en (MENIT); All three groups speak the almost the same languages of the southeast branch of the Surmic language cluster of Nilo-Sahara.  However, the terms gSurih are used for "Surma" people only.

They have a macho culture, with an obsession for stick fighting called dongabringing great prestige to men \ it is especially important when seeking a bride \ and they are very competitive, at the risk of serious injury and occasional death. The males are often shaved bald, and frequently wear little or no clothes, even during stick fights.

Most women have their bottom teeth removed and their bottom lips pierced, then stretched, so as to allow insertion of a clay lip plate. Some women have stretched their lips so as to allow plates up to five inches in diameter. Increasing with exposure to other cultures, however, a growing number of girls now refrain from this practice. Their children are sometimes painted with white clay paint, which may be dotted on the face or body.

Donga, Stick fighting

A sport and ritual the 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 Suri men; using guns instead of sticks.