Friday, September 22, 2023

Weyba Tis, Ethiopian beauty treatment

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Weyba Tis is a traditional Ethiopian beauty treatment that resembles a sauna. The method entails lighting local wood and wild herbs in a hole in the ground. The customer, who is usually a lady, is then covered in blankets and seated over the smoke pit in a chair. The procedure is supposed to relieve back pain, cleanse the skin, and prevent uterine problems because the vapors encase the body and open up the pores. A large cloak was draped around me and I was led into a room that had what looked like 3 long-drop toilets with small smoldering fires in front of them. I was seated over the hole in the “long drop”, my cloak draped over the box and the smokey fire, and three thick blankets wrapped around me to stop the smoke from escaping, and to ensure I get a good sweat up. My knees were pushed apart as far as possible, smoke rose all around my body, butter ran down my back, and my thoughts flashed back to the Afar tribe a year ago…Holy smoke, I was being smoked! Laughing to myself I recalled the Afar story of the other 2 girls getting smoked with me, and what Firew had said the outcome was. We could not stop laughing and joking during our half-hour smoking session – what were we to do with our “reconditioned” nether regions?! All smoked up and nowhere to go…! It took mass amounts of soap and shampoo to get all that butter off, but our skin did feel softer – and smelt buttery and smokey for at least 4 days. That evening we met Firew for dinner and told him we had been smoked – he thought it was hilarious “How do you feel?”, he asked. “Like an 18-year-old again,” I said.

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