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John Rowe’s close images of tribes in Ethiopia’s imperiled Omo Valley


Omo: A River of Change, by American photographer John Rowe, is a dramatic glimpse into the influx of development and globalization to what is considered one of the most ethnically and biologically unique regions of the world.  For centuries, Omo Valley, in Ethiopia, “the birthplace of man,” has been a hub of human migration, with the Omo River acting as the heart of economic, cultural, and spiritual life. In 2006, John Rowe had the rare opportunity of photographing this region prior to the encroachment of such external influences as the Gibe Dams, industrialized farming, missionaries, and tourism. Over the next 10...

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