Religious Festivals

Religion is an integral part of Ethiopian life and culture and is celebrated with impressive ceremonies, traditional dress, music and dancing providing a blanket of colorful expression across the country.

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Cultural Attractions/South Omo valley

Ethiopia`s mix of cultures has been pretty stable over the past few centuries.  The southern nations, nationalities and peoples region especially the Omo valley. The Omo Valley, located in Africa's Great Rift Valley, is undoubtedly one of the most unique places on earth because of the wide variety of people and animals that inhabit it.  The region is known for and is endowed with diverse culture and they are quite distinct one another and are the vast numbers of ethnic groups inhabiting the area; no less than 56 languages spoken in the region.

The tribes that live in the lower Omo Valley are believed to be among the most fascinating on the continent of Africa and around the world. Tours are offered to several towns, villages and open nomadic markets. 

It is often you come into contact with the following tribes: Arbore, Ari, Bena, Bodi, Bumi, Daasanech, Dorze, Hamer, Karo, Konso, Kwegu (or Muguji), Mursi, Surma, Tsemay, and Turkana when you tour the valley.

The diverse and colorful culture of the people is manifested in the various languages, throbbing music, attractive hairstyles, body decorations and friendly attitudes of the people. The Omo region is home to the last ‘untouched’ people who are all isolated from modern civilizations. It is the living Museum. The tribes are leaving the way how their ancestries were leaving before many centuries. No outside cultural influence so far.

To pinpoint some; the hair styling, cultural dance/Evangadi dance) and marriage ceremony (Bull Jumping as a transition from boy) of the Hammer tribe, the amazing body painting of Karo tribe.

The famous Mursi’s and Surma’s lip piercing/stretching and inserting lip plates made from wood or sand and their marriage ceremony of Donga Fighting. Only the girls and women of the tribe wear lip plates and the practice is started six to 12 months before a teenage girl is due to get married. The lower front teeth are removed too.

The body feature of Bodi Tribe and several body decorations of Benna, Tsemay, Erbore, Surma and other ethnic groupis also amazing.

Moreover the dressing patterns of the Surma tribe’s men and women and their lip plates of the women, differ by shape from mursi tribe of the lower Omo valley.

All what they did is to beautifying themselves for enjoyment and as an artistic expression rather than any ceremonial purpose. They remove their lower front teeth too. These Ethiopian tribes also wear many strings of beads and practice other forms of body modification such as piercing and extending their ear lobes and deliberate scarification of their skin.

The Surma tribe pride themselves on their scars on their body and how many they carry. The tribal people may braid their hair or shave it off or have combinations of shaved areas and parts covered by hair.

The best place to explore this cultural diversity in the omo valley is market days.

BullJumping, a transition from boyhood to manhood

Hammer Ladies with hair styling and body decoration

















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