The south omo valley ethnic groups-Life styles,cultures,traditions,type of marriages
the people and tribes in Ethiopia.
The south omo valley
The South omo Zone is home to more than 16 ethnic groups whose populations number between 1,000 and 300,000 people each. The Natural customs and environments of all these inhabitants are varied. The Omo Valley 16 ethnic groups with their own unique culture, language and peculiarity named, Ari, Arbore,Bacha,Banna,Bodi,Brile,Dassanech,Dime,Hamar,Kara(Karo),Kwegu,Maale, Murle, Mursi, Nynagatom, Tsemay. The major tribes can be split in to their linguistic derivation;
The Ari people
The Ari predominantly practice settled agriculture and live in the fertile vicinity of jinka. Ari is the largest ethnic group in the south omo zone.Currenty there may be More than 300,000 Ari people.
The Ari have three types of the marriage: Kubsina-(arranged marriage), Sora-(consensual marria) and Ardetin- (marriage by inheritance).
The Arbore are a small group of people of perhaps 7000 people. They live in the hot plains north of chew Bahir and are predominantly pastoralists.The Arbore have a mixed economy and social value for the Arbore. They keep cattle, sheep and goats are kept in the vicinity of the settlement.
The Arbore have four types of marriage: Arranged marriage, Keimaweltabe-consensual marriage, Ser-marriage through abduction and Yehilma-marriage by inheritance. Women are circumcised in Arbore society, as a pre- requisite for marriage.
The banna ethnic group may consist of about 28,000 people.Divided in to two main Clans and 18 sub-clans. The two main clans are Binas and Galabos .According to the legends told by the community elders, the origin of each Banna clan is distinct to that clan.
The Hamar People
The Hamar people are principally pastoralists, breeding cattle, Goats and sheep. They have a similar veneration for cattle as their close neighbors, the women and girls grow crops, with the Staple being sorghum, but they also grow beans, maize and pumpkin, the women are also responsible for collecting water, cooking, and looking after the household and children –who Start helping the family by herding the goats from around age eight. The young men of the village work the crops and defend the herds, while adult men herd the cattle, plough with the oxen and raise beehives in acacia trees.As with the majority of tribes in the area, the land is not owned by individuals, it is free for use.By any member of the group. The Hamar move on when they’ve exhausted land.
The Hamar have five types of marriage: An arranged marriage, Kindle Kays( consensual marriage),Yedot(marriage through abduction),Ishmena- (marriage by inheritance) AND Merima- (replacement marriage)
The Kara people
The Kara live on the east bank of the lower omo opposite the Nyangatom.Unlike with the lowland pastoralists, cattle are owned is small numbers by the Kara, and goats are their main livestock. Although pastoralist by trading , the Kara now subsist growing sorghum, maize and other crops because of the livestock losses to disease in the tsetse-infected area some years ago.
The Kara live together in three large villages (Korcho , Duss and Labuk) as they are comparatively few in number . The Kara don’t have their own markets so they trade with the Hamar at the markets in Dimeka and Turmi. The Kara have a traditional way of fishing. A portion of wood is sharpened at one end and used to spear fish in the omo River or Lake Karo. In the language of the Kara people , the word Kara means fish .
The Kara have four types of marriage :Miliko – arranged marriage ,Haramu – consensual marriage,Astergnar – marriage through abduction and Beski – marriage by inheritance
The Dassanech live around the omo delta on the northern side of Lake Turkana.They practice flood retreat cultivation , pastoralism and fishing .The Dassanech may number around 66,000 individual and most people live on the west bank of in Ethiopia .The east bank is occupied only temporarily during cultivation season , and otherwise is deserted.The Dassanech have four types of marriage :Darech- arranged marriage, Garu - consensual marriage , Seriti – marriage through abduction and Ayodi - marriage by inheritance.
The Mursi people
The Mursi live in the almost inaccessible area between the mago and omo Rivers. They are predominantly pastoral but they also engage in limited agriculture. The Mursi are a tall , striking race , with an aggressive reputation . The man only wear a blanket tied over one shoulder, the women a similarly fashioned goatskin. Both sexes cut their hair very short and shave designs into it . The women are famed for wearing large plates in their lips (round clay plates placed in to a cut in lower lips) and ears . There is much controversy surrounding the origins of the lip plate , ranging from ‘disfigurement to discourage slave raider’
The Mursi have four types of marriage: Tokoto gama – arranged marriage,Gama – consensual marriage,Pisiyer – marriage though abduction and Sermay – marriage by inheritance
The Suri are agro – pastoralist who live in the lowland to the west of omo bordering sudan .The Suri live a similar lifestyle to the Mursi , cattle are invaluable to them . For both these people, It is the women’s job to take care of the household and land .Traditionally, their home are constructed from wood and grasses , and most of the cooking takes place outside on an open fire. The young boys and unmarried men take care of the cattle. They spend much of the year in temporary grazing camp, returning to their established settlement for additional food and ceremonial events.
The Suri practice the art of body painting different clay are collected to acquire colors ranging from red, yellow, orange and white. They are mixed with a little water and painting on to face and body. The Suri practice this art to a lesser extent, but generally with lesa aptitude
The Konso people are Cushitic speaking people who are known for their unique culture and water and soil Conservation through terracing .The konso are also well-regared arti-sans weavers make the traditional skirts and shorts, Smiths craft bronzw create the famous waka funerary statues. The konso language is in the cushituc family, and while little documentation exists it is thought that the konso have inhabited this area for at least four centures. The konso people live in the walled nucleated village which are mostly situated on the commanding top of hills.
Ethiopia’s most admired weavers, the Dorze craft colorful gabbis( robes) and netelas(shawls)-as well as fine baskets, pottery, and leather work, Enset( false banana)- the staple food –is found in nearly every compound, along with cabbage, tobacco, and various spices. The roughly 6000 Dorze speak a language from the omotic family and believed to have immigrated to their highland area at least 500 years ago.