Mursi Tribe, Ethiopia. Photograph by Miro May, National Geographic Your Shot. Clad in chalky white tribal paint, members of the Mursi tribe stare down a photographer’s camera in Mago National Park. Located in southwestern Ethiopia and bordered by mountains and the Omo River, the Mursi’s home is one of the most isolated regions in the country. The tribe’s women are often recognized for the large clay plates worn in their lower lips.
Lalibela Church. Photograph by Philippe Bourseiller/Image Bank. The town of Lalibela in northern Ethiopia is renowned for 12 Christian churches that were hewed out of solid stone some 800 years ago. The most stunning is Bieta Giyorgis, shown here, a massive monolith 40 feet (12 meters) tall, intricately carved and shaped like a cross.
Close-up of a male gelada monkey. Photograph by Michael Nichols/National Geographic. Gelada monkeys, the last surviving species of a once numerous genus of grazing primates, live only in the high mountain meadows of north-central Ethiopia. Though somewhat protected by the remoteness of their location, they’re facing pressure from humans as hunters and farmers encroach. Only about 100,000 to 200,000 geladas remain.
Mursi Tribeswoman. Photograph by Jodi Cobb/National Geographic. Among the Mursi tribeswomen of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley, lip plates are a source of pride and a sign of strength. When a girl is 15 or 16, her lower lip is cut and held open by a wooden plug. Over the next several months, progressively larger plugs are inserted to stretch the lip. Not all girls continue until they can wear plates of the size shown here.
Danakil Depression, Ethiopia. Photograph by Carsten Peter/National Geographic. Disks of travertine, a calcium-rich deposit, ring a hot spring in Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression. Afar tribeswomen extract water from this forbidding landscape by building small stone towers over the geothermal vents. The steam condenses, and the water runs into a reservoir. When it cools, the women pour it into their goatskin bags.