Mingi

Mingi is a term defined as the state of being impure or "ritually polluted"[1] in certain ethnic groups in the Horn of Africa, including the Omotic speaking Karo and Hamar tribes of Southern Ethiopia. In some tribes, a person, often a child, who is considered mingi is killed by forced permanent separation from the tribe by being left alone in the jungle or by drowning in the river.[2][3][4] Reasons for being declared impure include birth out of wedlock, the birth of twins, the eruption of teeth in the upper jaw before the lower jaw, and chipping a tooth in childhood.[5][6] Some who were separated have been reported to shadow the tribe at a distance until eventually succumbing to hunger or predators.[2]

A feature story in 2011 points out that there has been a dearth of academic scholarship on the subject, but "some observers have speculated that it might have started many generations ago as a way to purge people who are more likely to become a burden or who cannot contribute to the propagation of their people."[4]


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