Reinterpreting the Floral Art of the Ethiopian Suri Tribe

After reading an article on Thursd about the floral art of the Suri Tribe, I immediately ran to my computer to dig up a production we did on this subject.

By: ÚRSULA | 13-04-2022 | 3 min read
Floral Art Floral Designs
header Reinterpreting the Floral Art of the Ethiopian Suri Tribe

Hi! I'm Úrsula from Efímera Floral, a floral design studio in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Through Efímera Floral we aim to revert floral design in an artistic and contemporary way by merging disciplines. Our source of inspiration always lies in the ephemeral beauty of the flowers we work with, hence the name of the design studio ('Efímera' means 'ephemeral' in Spanish). 

Reinterpreting the Floral Art of the Suri Tribe

A few weeks ago I was reading the Thursd newsletter and I came across an article about the Suri Tribe in Ethiopia called 'People From the Ethiopian Suri Tribe Wear Intricate Face Paint and Don Breathtaking Floral Headpieces' - which immediately made me run to my own computer because we did a production back in 2020 that reinterprets the floral art of the Suri Tribe.



The idea for this reinterpretation actually arose because of a documentary that I watched, so soon after I began to sketch out the ideas for this photoshoot and managed to put together an incredible team to work with on this project. The general idea was to reinterpret the artful embellishments - consisting of flowers, foliage, fruits, and more - which the Suri Tribe uses as a cultural expression. This turned into a contemporary, western, youthful, and urban interpretation, taking nature and the available materials into account, seeing as we were doing this project in the middle of a pandemic. 

Born of Nature

We ended up creating seven pieces, working out a different concept for each image. The first piece is titled 'Born of Nature' and features a young woman emerging from between Phormium, which also acts as her clothes, finished with a headdress that reminds us of nobility. To create contrast, we added neon-style makeup that refers to the mix between nature and urban. 


Born of Nature - floral art on Thursd

Born of Nature - Suri Tribe Flowers on Thursd


Thought Buzz

The second piece is called 'Thought Buzz' and displays a young man. This man could be the partner of the young woman from the Suri Tribe featured in the first image because of the same use of Phormium, as well as the style of makeup. As you can see, we used a lot of glitter and shiny appliques since we liked the fantasy vibes they added to our creations.


Thought Buzz - Suri Tribe Flowers on Thursd

Thought Buzz - Floral Art on Thursd


The World

The third image is titled 'The World'. A vegetable ring made of jasmine leaves, like a containing nature, surrounds the head of a young woman, who feeds on lemons, which contrast with the bright blue of her makeup - also alluding to the urban, to the prefabricated. 


The World - Suri Tribe Flowers on Thursd

The World - Floral Art on Thursd


Fleeting Picardy

'Fleeting Picardy' is the most playful idea of ​​the production. A mixture of children's colors (primary colors) in makeup, like that first love of nature, is expressed through small white flowers. 


Fleeting Picardy - Suri Tribe Floral Art on Thursd


Fine Botany

'Fine botany' is another of the scenarios we created, simulating the basic ties of the Suri Tribe foliage headpieces, referring to the most glamorous part of nature in a 50s kind of style (the only thing missing is a shiny dress!). 


Fine Botany - Suri Tribe Floral Art on Thursd


The Conqueror 

One of the most powerful images of the production was 'The Conqueror'. This conqueror literally exploited nature, he believed it was his, but we see his revenge in this 'natural vomit' made from the fruit of the Platanus × hispanica tree, of which Buenos Aires is full. 


The Conqueror - Suri Tribe Floral Art on Thursd

The Conqueror - Floral Art on Thursd


Flashes of the Unconscious

And last but not least, we created 'Flashes of the Unconscious' - which is a tribute to this tribe, where palm tree fruit is only supported on the head of this man and without intervention in the fruit itself. A thank you to this tribe for standing up for who they are.


Flashes of the Unconscious - Suri Tribe Floral Art on Thursd

Flashes of the Unconscious - Floral Art on Thursd



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