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Mingi Children

A 'Mingi' child is a child that is believed to be born evil. There are many reasons why a child would be considered Mingi. Twins are sometimes both considered to be Mingi - or just one twin depending on the tribe...

Another reason is if a child is born without the permission of the village elders or out of wedlock, and if a child's tooth from the upper jaw erupts before a tooth from the lower jaw. Although this is an illegal practice and severely discouraged by many NGOs, it is said that Mingi murder still occurs in numerous tribes. They approximate that 300 children are killed a year due to being born as 'Mingi'. Children can be thrown off cliffs or into rivers, left to starve to death in the forests & exposed to predation. Muko is a woman from the Omo Valley she wears a tattered goatskin skirt and nothing else. Behind her flows the murky brown Omo river, with crocodiles hanging motionless in the current. She sits on a log and stares at the ground as she talks. In her life she has given birth to 16 children, but the first 12 were born before she and her husband were married. They wanted to get married but he couldn’t amass the necessary goats and cattle for the bride price. So she put those 12 babies out in the bush to die. 'For a mother it is painful to kill her children,’ she says, 'but I was more concerned about the community and my family.’ Then she looks up and stares right at Labuko: 'I did the right thing. You will see. More curses and death will come because of these children you are rescuing. Is that what you want for your people?’ Then her shoulders crumple forward and she looks back at the ground. 'This is a time for the young people,’ she says. 'Let them decide. I am finished now.’

mingi child

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