Ethiopia’s history 3000 years back to the Damat and Axumite Empire. According to some scholars it goes further than that. However, the ruined temple of moon built by the Damat Empire in Yeha of Tigray built 1000BC indisputably witness that Ethiopia has a 3000 years of history.
The Axumite Empire was one of the most powerful and wealthy empires in the world from about 100BC to 400 AD. The main source of its power and wealth was trade on the red sea. Spice ivory and incense to other wealthy empires such as the Persian and China empires. Its territory was until the present day Yemen and there is archeological evidence in Yemen which confirms that it was once under the rule of the Axumite Empire.
All Kings and Queens of the Axumite Empire claim that they are descendants of King Solomon of Israel. The queen of Sheba which was also mentioned on the Holy Bible went to Jerusalem see the wisdom of King Solomon. During her stay she had sexual affair with King Solomon who had over 900 concubines according to the Holy Bible. She returned back to Ethiopia after conceiving Solomon’s son, Menellik 1st who ruled Ethiopia around 100BC and who brought Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia accepted Christianity around 30 AD during Queen Hndeke which one of her high ranking official got baptized by Apostle Fillip, who is among the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. The baptism story of the Ethiopian high ranking official is mentioned on Acts part of the New Testament. This makes Ethiopia the second country to accept Christianity next to Israel.
The Islamic faith came to Ethiopia around 714 Ad with pilgrims sent by Prophet Mohammed to escape from the massacre which was declared on people who accepted Islam. They were warmly welcomed by the Axsumite rulers and given a place to reside and practice their new faith at Negashi in Tigray.
Ethiopian Omo Valley
Named after its geographical location and the famous Omo River, Omo Valley Ethiopia is a spectacularly beautiful area with diverse attractions, ecosystems, cultures and languages. The majority of the region is dry and inhospitable: 0.5 % is highland, 5 % is midland, 60 % is lowland and 34 % is desert. Despite this only 8.5 % of the populations are urban dwellers.
Omo Valley Travel will take you on an epic journey Omo Valley Tours to Southern Ethiopia tribes. The peoples of this area have managed to retain their traditional lifestyle. This is apparently due to the fact that the harsh environment in which most of the tribes live is undesirable to outsiders. The Omo Valley is a cultural melting pot with at least 16 distinct tribes. Two of the four main African linguistic families are represented in the area: Nilo-Saharan; and Afro-Asiatic, with its Omotic (endemic to the South Omo) and Cushitic branches.
The Omo is one of Ethiopia’s largest rivers. It flows south for over seven hundred kilometers from the Shewan highlands to the northern end of Lake Turkana. Some of the tribes live alongside the Omo River and depend on it for their livelihood. They have developed complex socio-economic and ecological practices intricately adapted to the harsh and often unpredictable conditions of the region’s semi-arid climate.
The annual flooding of the Omo River guarantees food security for some of the Omo Valley Ethiopia tribes along its banks, especially as rainfall is low and erratic. They depend on it to practice ‘flood-retreat cultivation’ using the rich silt left along the river banks by the receding waters. Having reached its maximum level, the river recedes rapidly during September and October, which is when people start preparing the recently flooded area for flood-retreat cultivation. Some also practice rain fed shifting cultivation, growing sorghum, maize, and tobacco. Some tribes, particularly the Kwegu and Kara, hunt game and fish.
Omo Valley Tribes
Cattle, goats and sheep are vital to most Omo Valley tribes livelihood, producing blood, milk, meat and hides. Cattle are highly valued and used in payment for ‘bride wealth’ (dowry). They are an important defense against starvation when the rains and crops fail. In certain seasons, families, particularly young adult males, travel to temporary camps to provide new grazing for herds, surviving on milk and blood from their cattle. Donkey and poultry are also livestock for most tribes. Bee keeping is widely practiced and honey is used as a household food and to generate income. Milk is mainly for household consumption. Butter, however, is sold in markets and used as face, hair and body cream, as well as in various rituals.
Traditional livestock production by the tribes of Omo Valley Ethiopia is based on herd diversification to make use of various plant species, and herd splitting to spread the livestock out in line with the available grazing resources and to prevent the spread of disease. There are periodic inter-ethnic conflicts within the zone (and across the borders) as people compete for natural resources, most frequently water and pasture. However, conflicts may also originate from deep-rooted cultural practices, such as heroism, asset building and collective revenge. The introduction of firearms in Omo Valley Ethiopia has made inter ethnic fighting far more dangerous.
These fascinating peoples live isolated, extreme and particularly harsh lives. However, they decorate themselves lavishly and their colorful dress and beautification customs give them an identity and highlights their uniqueness. Their dress is often scant, commonly utilizing skins and other natural resources. However, for men and women alike, it is usual to be adorned with jewelry, beads, clay face and body painting, feathers, ear and lip plates, bodily scarification and other practices. Little is known about the origins of these customs but it is sufficient to say that appearance is a distinguishing factor for neighboring tribes; it is indeed extremely important to these exceptional people.
The natural beauty of Omo Valley Ethiopia is unsurpassed. The diverseness of the people, the languages, the traditions and the landscape (in a comparatively small area) is unequaled anywhere on this vast continent. The untainted attire and intrinsic majesty of the people living in an age-old traditional manner will touch the hearts of all who come here and the images will stain the visitors’ memory long after they return home. we support ONM Lower Omo which work with and for the tribes.