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Learn more about Mursi Beads


Looking to add a touch of true beauty and culture to your jewelry designs? Well, you’re in luck! Our varied selection of ethically sourced Mursi beads are going to have your jewelry designs looking amazing. Here at The Bead Chest from our vibrant copper Mursi beads to our outstanding and shining silver Mursi beads your design options are many!

The Mursi, or Morsi people are a pastoralist ethnic group located in Ethiopia, known for their unique culture and stunning jewelry designs. The Mursi people are a smaller tribe and there are only about 7,500 of them living today. The Mursi people live in an extremely hard to reach place in between the rivers of Mago and Omo. The Mursi live pretty close to the Aari, Bodi, Karo, Banna, Kewgu, Suri and Nyangatom tribes. Often these various tribes are grouped together by the larger Ethiopian government and are called the Surma people as a whole. The Mursi have their own language that is similar to the Suri language. The Mursi are actually considered to be one of the richest tribes in the region due to the high amount of cattles they own. Woman in the Mursi tribe actually bear the bulk of heavy work. They take care of the tribes children, build the shelters, prepare food and gather water. Mursi religion and culture has a lot in common with many other agro-pastoralist tribes in Africa. They worship a force they call Tumwi and it is said to manifest as a bird in the sky. Tumwi is said to help protect men, stop pests and disease and to bring rain. The religious practises of the Mursi are classified as Animism which means they focus heavily on things like plants, rocks, rivers and weather systems in their beliefs. As Mursi people grow up in their society there are many rites of passage. The Mursi are one of the few tribes left on Earth that still practice lip plating. Lip plates are arguably one the most famous things that Westerners know about Mursi culture. Mursi woman wear large pottery, jewelry and wooden discs in their lower lips. Around the age 13 Mursi woman have their lower lips pierced. In the beginning a small wooden disk is inserted into the lip. Over time the size of the disk is increased and the lip is stretched out. Eventually when the hole is big enough a ceramic saucer is inserted into the lip and the woman's lower teeth are knocked out to fit the bigger sizes. Traditionally the bigger the size of the saucer the more beautiful and well respected the woman is.

Now that you know a little more about the Mursi culture please take your time browsing this curated section of Mursi beads. We can’t wait to see how you implement Mursi beads into your jewelry and interior design aesthetic!



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