Cultural diversity in Omo Valley

Posted: May 19, 2014 in Omo Valley

The Omo valley is home to 16 ethnic groups whose populations vary from less than 100 to more than 100,000 people. The ethnic groups belong to three different language families. Cushitic, Nilotic and Omotic. Because of the great variety of languages in that small area, many people are multilingual.

The lifestyle of the inhabitants of the Omo Valley diverges as do the environments people live in. While the Aari, Dime and parts of the Maale live in the highlands and are mainly agriculturalists, the other groups of Omo Valley are agro-pastoralists. Living near to lakes and rivers also has an impact onto people’s life. People living near to the Omo or Woyto Rivers such as Nyangatom, Arebore or Dassanech practice flood retreat Cultivation. Those Dasssancech near to Lake Turkana also use the fish and crocodile meat from the lake.

The gendered nature of roles and activities also differs vary much. In some groups women cultivate fields on their own, in others their husbands participate in farming. In some places cattle breeding is a male domain, in others females take part in.

The economic diversity o the ethnic group makes exchange of goods very crucial. This contributes to the strengthening of interethnic times through bond friendships and marriages. http://www.fanosethiopiatours.comImage

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