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Ethnical groups – Dorze

Travelling across Ethiopia from the West to the East and from the North to the South, we meet the inhabitants of this country, who have preserved their original culture. We notice that thanks to varied garments, houses, constructed in a different manner, languages which sound differently in our ears and also in the different ways of field cultivation.

In dependence upon the region which is inhabited by a given group, these groups encompass from several hundred to several tens of thousands of people. The most numerous one is Oromo, who constitute more than 30 per cent of the population. Their land, called Oromia, covers one-third of the territory of the country. It is also there that the capital city of the country, Addis Ababa, is situated. The group which is the second-largest in terms of number, the Amhara people, also represents little fewer than 30 per cent of the population. Their culture has shaped Ethiopia; the Amharic language is an official one, of the country. The Tigray people, inhabiting in large and homogeneous groups the North of the country, constitute 6 per cent of the population of it. The number of the Somali people is similar. Below, you can find a few instance of Ethiopian ethnical mosaic.


The doom-shaped houses of the Dorze people are constructed with the use of natural materials (bamboo sticks and the leaves of ensete, which means so-called false banana trees). They resemble, in terms of their outside appearance, a head of an elephant. This is the most typical instance of architecture in Ethiopia. They are up to 10 meters high, are extremely durable and serve families for several tens of years. Ensete is not only a construction material, but, first and foremost, the source of food. The Dorze people bake it to obtain a special kind of bread, called kolcho. It is consumed with a very sharp spice. They make home-made spirits of reasonable quality, and also cultivate tobacco. They are exquisite weavers, and their products are considered one of the finest in Ethiopia. At the stalls, it is possible to purchase white and colourful clothing, and also, particularly liked by tourists, small caps of fancy colours and shapes. The Dorze people inhabit the areas in the vicinity of the mountainous enclave of Chencha (2900 meter above the sea level), in the vicinity of the city of Arba Minch.


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