作者：沪江英语 来源：每日邮报 2014-08-04 16:31
Buko Balguda, 45, from Duss, a Karo tribal village in southern Ethiopia's Omo Valley, is alone. The reason? Her seven sons and eight daughters were all killed at birth by village elders who decided that the children were cursed.
'I lost five plus five plus five babies - 15 in total,' she explains. 'I had seven males and eight females. During this time, our tribal traditions were very hard. I did not respect our traditions, so they killed my children.'
And Ms Balguda is not alone. The concept of 'mingi' or cursed children remains a tenet of tribal life for the Hamer and Bana people, with elders insisting that mingi infants are killed before they can bring the rest of the tribe bad luck.
As a result - and despite efforts by the Ethiopian government to ban the practice - cursed children are murdered every day, whether by being left alone to be eaten by hyenas, thrown to hungry crocodiles or simply starved to death in a locked hut.
For Ms Balguda, the problems began before she even married, when her future husband failed to take part in her tribe's traditional bull jumping ceremony - an initiation rite for men which has to be completed before they can marry.
When he married Ms Balguda anyway, village elders declared that any children would be considered illegitimate and would be killed as soon as they were born.
But illegitimacy isn't the only reason for a child being declared 'mingi'. Others are deemed cursed because of disabilities, because their parents didn't get permission for a pregnancy from the elders, because they are a twin and most cruelly of all, because their teeth develop the wrong way.
Cruel though the practice is, village elders fear that if the children aren't killed, bad luck will blight the tribe. 'Most of the tribes in the Omo Valley still have strong superstitions.'
Until things change, the pain for women like Ms Balguda will continue. 'At the time, I had no choice,' she adds. 'Nowadays, when i see the women giving birth or giving milk, I feel sorry. I feel lonely. Nobody is on my side.'