Singing and dancing actually play a more important role in the music of the tribes in Omo Valley population than musical instruments. For dance people adorn themselves with a lot of beaded jewelry. Some of it is especially made for such occasions, for example foot rattles or straps for the upper part of the arm that swing up and down during dancing.

Hammer Dance_ Omo Valley

Music and Dance Omo Valley, Ethiopia

While many people might associate Ethiopia with drums, in Omo Valley they are not very common. Some of the groups use drums during mourning ceremonies to announce the death of a person from a long way off. Instead of a sign of joy and dance the drums are a sign of loss. More common than drums are five-stringed lyres made from Wood or tortoise shell, and flutes or finger pianos.

While lyres and finger pianos are instruments that are played in a private atmosphere with few listeners, the multi-tonal flutes are played by children who tend the fields, and sets of single-tonal bamboo flutes in Aari and Malle are played by a group of people during dances.


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