Konso is named after the ethnic group of the area and is unique in that its people have maintained a tribal culture, dating back 1000 years and unlike any in Ethiopia. Governed by clan chiefs and councils of village elders, the Konso live in nine different walled villages on the arid hilltops surrounding the town.

The most distinctive feature of Konso is the appealing architecture of Konso villages. The Konso traditionally live in populated settlements usually situated on the top of a hill and enclosed by stone walls. There are about 32 villages encircled by tall stone walls, and each practicing a different culture.

Villagers will gather at the Mora, a public gathering spot where the pafta, a large hut, and Olahitas, the central location for cultural ceremonies. In these areas they would perform rituals, dances, food preparations, and weaving; all of the wonderful aspects of Konso heritage.

A great aspect of our communities’ whereabouts is the vivid and beautiful natural setting in the green south plains of Ethiopia. The natural landscapes, terraces, wooden statues, also known as Waka, and the famous naturally shaped mud towers which are named by locals as Konso New York.


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