The cultural variety of Southern Omo Valley
Ethiopia presents a remarkable mosaic of humanity. It is the shelter of more than 80 ethnic groups. The Omo river region of south western Ethiopia is home to several well-known tribes where immense ethnic groups have settled down on this valley. The region is affluent in marvelous scenery, wild life, and birds.
- The most remarkable feature of Dorze culture is their unique domed homesteads which look rather like distended beehives, standing as tall as a two-story building, with a break-like frontal extension made from Bamboo, interwoven with layers of insulating grass and enset (false banana) . The Dorze are subsistence farmers whose hand-woven Shama cloth is considered the finest in Ethiopia.
- The Konso people are very famous of stone terracing systems a practice that helps them prevent erosion on the steep hillsides. On these terraces the Konso raise sorghum, millet, corn, peas and sunflowers. They are also well-regarded artisans. Konso has recently been registered by UNESCO as one of the world heritage site.
- The most renowned of the region’s many animist tribes are the They are famed for their practice of inserting large clay plates behind the lower lips by their women.
- The most important event in the life of a Hamer male is the bull –jumping ceremony –a rite of passage and a pre-condition for marriage. A row of eight to ten bulls is formed and the naked initiate must traverse the row, leaping from one animal to the next –four times. If successful, his male relatives then flog the backs of his female relatives, who see this as a chance to prove loyalty and valor.
- Best known for their creative body paintings are the Karo. For dances and festivals, they decorate themselves with paints made from white chalk, black charcoal, yellow stone, red iron ore, and plant oils. Women wear shell necklaces, beaded belts, and brass or copper bracelets. Scarification, common for both sexes, is done for beautification and in the case of men, to signify the killing of enemies or beg game. Men and women also have pierced holes in their lower lips, in to which they insert various adornments.