Beni Amer boy

James P. Blair
James P. Blair

Recognize this smile? Chances are if you grew up in/around an Ethiopian or Eritrean community you have seen this smiling face before. The iconic portrait of the “Beni Amer boy” was captured by photographer James P. Blair sometime in the 1960’s. The image is as familiar in Eritrea as it is in Ethiopia. This is due to the politics of the time the picture was taken. Although the picture was taken in Eritrea, at the time “Beni Amer boy” was simply from “northwestern Ethiopia”. Another reason why this image is iconic isĀ  because of the endorsement by the Ethiopian Tourism Commission. The Ethiopian Tourism Commission adopted the “Beni Amer boy” as the face of “13 Months of Sunshine” tourism campaign.