Festivals | Itineraries
More than 80 languages and 200 dialects are spoken throughout the country. That is why Ethiopia is known as a country of mosaic of cultures. You find harmony in diversity among the peoples of Ethiopia – all having their own costumes, hair styles, songs, dances and arts - all unique in their own way.
A cultural tour to Ethiopia offers one to understand the harmony and diversity better. It enables to explore the truly exotic, untouched and authentic life style. The Southern part of Ethiopia is home to diverse ethnic groups with their unique costumes, hairstyles.
The Omo Valley in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and peoples state is home to different Ethnic groups with their own language and lifestyle. This destination offers a great opportunity for visitors that are interested to see the diverse cultures.
Some of the tribes who are frequently visited by most tourists are found between Konso and Jinka. A day trip from Jinka enables visitors to see the Mago National Park and the Mursi tribe. The Mursi are best known of the Omo tribes. They are mainly pastoralists who move according to the seasons in Mago National Park.
The most famous Mursi traditions include the fierce stick fighting between the men known as Donga, and the lip plate worn by the women which is made of clay and often quite large, the plates are inserted into slits in their lower lips.
The other tribes living around are the Ari and Benna inhabiting the northern border and the higher ground to the east of Mago National Park respectively. The Ari keep large numbers of livestock and the Benna practice agriculture.
Further south, we find the Hamer tribe. The Hamer are subsistence agro-pastoralists. They cultivate sorghum, vegetables, millet, tobacco and cotton, as well as rearing cattle and goats. The people are known particularly for their remarkable hairstyles. The women mix together ochre, water and a binding resin, rub the mixture into their hair, then twist strands again and again to create coppery-colored tresses known as goscha. These are a sign of health and welfare.
The Hamer are also considered masters of body decoration. Every adornment has an important symbolic significance; earrings for example, denote the number of wives a man has.
The women wear bead necklaces, iron coils around their arms, and decorate their skin with cowry shells. The iron bracelets and armlets are an indication of the wealth and social standing of the young girl's family. When she gets married, she must remove the jewellery; it is the first gift she makes to her new family.
Based on the Turmi village, it is possible to explore the rich culture of the Karo, considered masters of body painting, and different other tribes along the Omo National Park.
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