Donga - Stick fighting of the Surma people

Dongaa is a stick fighting festival of the Surma young man.

At a fight, each contestant is armed with a hardwood pole about six feet long with a weight of just under two pounds. In the attacking position, this pole is gripped at its base with both hands, the left above the right in order to give maximum swing and leverage. Each player beats his opponent with his stick as many times as possible with the intention of knocking him down,

and eliminating him from the game. Players are usually unmarried men. The winner is carried away on a platform of poles to a group of girls waiting at the side of the arena who decide among themselves which of them will ask for his hand in marriage. Taking part in a stick fight is considered to be more important than winning it. The men paint their bodies with a mixture of chalk and water before the fight.