The Arbore tribe is a small tribe that lives in the southwest region of the Omo Valley. They have ancestral and cultural associations with Borenna and Konso peoples and perform many ritual dances while singing. The Tsemay people are their neighboring tribe.
Arbore people are pastoralists (livestock farmers). They believe that their singing and dancing eliminates negative energy and with the negative energy gone, the tribe will prosper. The women of the tribe cover their heads with a black cloth and are known to wear very colorful necklaces and earrings. Young children will wear a shell type hat that protects their heads from the sun. Body painting is done by the Arbore using natural colors made from soil and stone. Traditional dancing is practiced by the tribe and wealth is measured by the number of cattle a tribesman owns.
The Dorze are a small ethnic group in Ethiopia who speak a language in the Omotic family. Numbering approximately 28,000, they live primarily in the southern region of the country, though some have migrated to Addis Ababa and other regions. Many Dorze live in villages near the cities of Chencha and Arbaminch, which are located in the Semien Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (formerly in the Gamu-Gofa province). Weaving is a primary profession for many Dorze.
Well known cotton weavers, the Dorze tribe were once warriors. They are famous for their cotton woven cloths and beehive huts. The Dorze people live in large communities north of Addis Ababa. They cultivate their own food and prevent erosion by terracing along the mountainside. In their farmlands, the Dorze will grow highland cereals. They also grow spices, vegetables, fruits and tobacco within their compound.Women of the Dorze tribe have most of the responsibility in the family. They must take care of any children and all of the house choirs. The women are also responsible for cooking, spinning cotton and collecting firewood. Male tribal members spend most of their time on the farm or building huts. Sometimes you will find them weaving material to use for different things. The Dorze people wear colourful toga robes called shammas. They are very popular throughout Ethiopia.
A Dorze hut is made up of hard wood poles, woven bamboo, Enset and other natural materials. It can stand two stories tall and last up to 80 years. Inside the main hut, you will find a fire place, a seating area and bedrooms. Smaller huts can include guest houses, a workshop, a kitchen and even cattle shed. When termites attack the hut, the Dorze can just remove it from its foundation and relocate it. This allows the home to last much longer, but every move shortens the height of the hut.
The Ari people inhabit the northern part of the Mago National Park in Ethiopia and have the largest territory of all the tribes in the area. They have fertile lands allowing them to have several types of plantations. An Ari's crop can consist of grains, coffee, fruits and honey. It's also common for them to have large herds of livestock.
Their women are known for selling pottery and wearing skirts made from banana trees called Enset. Tribe members wear a lot of jewellery and have many piercings in their ears. They wrap beads and bracelets around their arms and waist for decoration.
The Ari are known to paint and scar their bodies as part of their culture. You can find some of the Ari people visiting the market in Key Afer.
Bena, and Benna are other spellings for the Bena people. They are neighbors with the Hamer tribe and it is believed that the Bena actually originated from them centuries ago. The markets in Key Afer and Jinka are often visited by them.
Just like most of the indigenous tribes in the lower Omo Valley, the Bena practice ritual dancing and singing. The men often have their hair dressed up with a colorful clay cap that is decorated with feathers. Both the men and women wear long garments and paint their bodies with white chalk. Women of the tribe wear beads in their hair that is held together with butter.
The Bena look very similar to the Hamer and are often called the Hamer-Bena. Common rituals and traditions of other tribes are shared by the Bena. The boys in the tribe participate in bull jumping. When it is time for the boy to become a man, he must jump over a number of bulls naked without falling. If he is able to complete this task, he will become a man and be able to marry a woman.
The Bodi, ethnic group are live close to the Omo River in southern Ethiopia. South of the Bodi are the Mursi tribe they are pastoralists (livestock farmers) and agriculturalists. Along the banks of the river, they will grow sorghum, maize and coffee. They live with their cattle herds and livestock plays a large role in the tribe.
Men of the Bodi are typically overweight because they consume large amounts of honey. The men wear a strip of cotton around their waist or walk around naked. In June, the Bodi celebrate Ka'el. This is a tradition that measures the body fat of a contestant. Each family or clan is allowed to enter an unmarried contestant. The winner of this contest is awarded great fame by the tribe. Men also wear a headband with a feather attached to it during rituals. The women in the tribe wear goatskin skirts and have a plug inserted into their chin.
Bumi or Bume
The Bumi or Bume people are also known as the Nyangatom. They live south of the Omo National Park, but occasionally move to the lower regions if food or water is scarce. Known to be fierce fighters, they are often at war with Hamer and Karo tribes. Different from other tribes, the Bumi tribesmen hunt crocodiles using harpoons and a canoe. Scarification is practiced by both men and women in the tribe. The women do it to beautify themselves and the men to signify a kill. Both sexes wear a lot of multi colored necklaces and May also have a lower lip plug.The tribe practices both agriculture and cattle herding. Flood waters must recede along the river's banks before they will plant their crops. Beehives are smoked out by the Bumi and they gorge themselves with the honey.
Also spelled Tsamai, they are found living in the semi-arid region of the Omo Valley. These people are agro-pastoralist and use both livestock herding and agriculture to survive. Common crops grown by the tribe are sorghum, millet and of course cotton plantation by irrigating the Weyto River.
Like the Hamer tribe, the Tsemay boys have to successfully complete a bull jumping event. This is a ceremony where the boy runs across multiple bulls. If the boy can make it across four times without falling, he becomes a man. To prove a boy has accomplished a bull jumping, he is outfitted with a band that has feathers on it. It is worn on his head and it shows that he is now looking for a wife. Unlike any other tribe in Ethiopia, the Tsemay have arranged weddings. The parents of the woman pick who she will marry with or without her consent. Even if the marriage is arranged, the man must still be able to afford to pay for his future wife. Payment of cattle, honey, grain and coffee beans are accepted. Women of the tribe, who are not married, wear a short leather skirt with a v-shaped apron attached. Married women wear long leather dresses with an apron that have an apron covering their front and back side. The men in the tribe are found carrying small wooden seats to sit with.