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Inside remote tribe who batter each other with sticks to get a bride

Stunning images show young tribesmen dripping with blood as they fight with sticks with the last man standing winning a bride.

Spanish photographer Xavier Gil Tabios, 62, witnessed the outlawed "Donga" contests while staying with the Suri people for seven days in the Omo Valley, Ethiopia.

In one image, a young man prepared for the next round of fighting as blood dripped off his head.

Another photo featured a woman crying as she struggled to watch the terrifying battles unfold.

Mr Tabios, of Barcelona, Spain, said: "They fight to demonstrate masculinity, for personal revenge, and to win a wife.

"The participants fight two by two until one winner emerges from the tournament.

"It can be an inhospitable place. You have to negotiate economically to access a celebration like this and you're always making sure that the violence doesn't get out of control.

"In the end, we had to abruptly leave as another clan arrived with guns looking for trouble.

"It's a complicated area but I'd still urge people to try this unique unrepeatable experience."

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Between 20 and 30 men compete in these stick fights which can occasionally result in death however a referee is often present to prevent this, the Mail Online reports.

Stick fighting was banned by the Ethiopian government in 1994 but the tradition has persisted.

In the Omo Valley, the men are seen wearing homemade helmets, thrusting the long sticks into each other's bodies.

As well as proving themselves to the women, the fights are designed to train the young men for future violence in the turbulent region.

Neighbouring tribes such as the Nyangatom often engage in battles with the Suri people.

A referee is in place during the stick fights but it remains a dangerous sport, particularly since the tribespeople seized guns in recent years, which are occasionally fired from the sidelines.

Xavier captured the images on his Nikon D300 camera using a Sigma 70-200 2.8 lens.

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