A group of young men gather around stones to test their force
In Konso, one way a man demonstrates his strength or the amount of force he has is by lifting stones. Until somewhat recently, the need to record exact ages was considered unimportant. Instead, people identified themselves by what work they were capable of doing and what labor force they represented. Lifting stones then became a method to demonstrate to others the work force one was capable of, that one was both young and physically mature, and where one stood in terms of strength within the larger community.
An attempt at lifting the largest stone in this courtyard
The lift is pretty straight forward: pick up the stone from the ground, bring the stone to shoulder level, then raise stone above head in a controlled manner. Drop the stone behind to release. Repeat with greater stones as possible to find one's level of strength compared to others.
Taking on a large stone in the old village of Dokaatu, Konso