Most of us would not believe that healthy children are being killed by their own community, for implausible reasons. But it is the reality in some parts of the world. Like the Mingi tribal killing practice of infants and newborns in the Omo Valley of southwest Ethiopia.

Series “We are not Mingi” by Donell Gumiran

Series “We are not Mingi” by Donell Gumiran

What are the reasons, by which a child is deemed as Mingi, who is superstitiously considered to exert an evil influence upon others, to bring bad luck or death to the tribe? Birth out of wedlock, the birth of twins, the eruption of teeth in the upper jaw before the lower jaw, or just simply chipping a tooth in childhood. And what would the elder of the tribe do to these children? Suffocating them with dirt in the mouth, drowning them in a nearby river, hitting them in the head with rocks, or abandoning them in the jungle to be eaten by wild animals.

Although the Karo tribe has banned the practice since 2012, around 50,000 individuals secretly continue to practice it in other Omotic communities.

Series “We are not Mingi” by Donell Gumiran

Series “We are not Mingi” by Donell Gumiran

Feeling this tragedy can be stopped by exposing the practice to a wider public, the photographer Gumiran made a photo series about children in those remote areas. He hoped that seeing these innocent smiles and faces and suffering, the international audience will reach out and help, someday.

Series “We are not Mingi” by Donell Gumiran

Series “We are not Mingi” by Donell Gumiran

Discover the complete series

Donell Gumiran sees himself as an image-maker who captures and tells a story in a photograph. Donell is known for his evocative portraits and travel photography. His favorite subjects are those that capture human conditions and emotions in everyday life. His knack for sharing his stories, captured through the lens, has won him international recognitions. He is the recipient of numerous awards both local and international. Donell Gumiran is also photographer & contributor for Asian Geographic Magazine.

 

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