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 Ethiopian Cultural Attractions


Dorze village, which is about 35 Kms from Arba Minch, is situated high up in the misty Guge Mountains. The Omotic Dorze people are famous for their beehive shaped Huts-which are constructed with vertical hard wood poles and woven bamboo. According to the inhabitants this towering, re-locatable, structure can go as high as 12 meters and last from 60-80 years. Traditionally the bamboos that are used as frames for the huts are cut during moonlight. For insulating the roof of the hut a thatch of False banana (Enset), grass and cover of the bamboo stem are used. Through time when termites destroy the basement of the huts, after having avoided the rotten part of the basement, the whole structure can be lifted and relocated in a different place of the same compound. This practice explains why the hut is first built so high .The older the house the shorter the height.

The house is subdivided in to a fireplace, cattle section, bedroom, and a section reserved for brewery. The Dorze grow spices, false banana (Enset), tobacco, vegetables, and fruits in their compound. In their farmlands they grow mainly highland cereals.

In addition to farming the Dorze are engaged in weaving, pottery and blacksmithing. Dorze women are responsible for taking care of the child, household works, collecting firewood, spinning cotton. The male mainly farm, weave, and construct houses.

They have colorful markets on Tuesdays and Saturdays at Chencha and On Mondays and Thursdays at Dorze. Items on sale include fruits, cotton, cereals, vegetables, tobacco, firewood, pottery, utensils made of horns and locally woven fabrics that the region is famous for.

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