Omo Valley Tribes

The Omo Valley tribes have managed to retain their traditional lifestyle. This is apparently because the harsh environment in which most tribes live is undesirable to outsiders. 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 highlight 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 of the Omo Valley; it is indeed essential to these exceptional people.

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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 essential 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 Omo Valley tribes. Beekeeping is widely practiced, and honey is used as household food and to generate income. Milk is mainly for household consumption. Butter, however, is sold in markets and used as a face, hair and body cream by in various rituals.

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Tribes of the Omo Valley

The Major Tribes of the Omo Valley split in to their linguistic derivation;

Mursi TribeKaro TribeDassanech Tribe
Suri (Surma)Hamar TribeArbore Tribe
Nyangatom TribeAri TribeTsemay Tribe
Bodi TribeBanna (Bana) TribeBirale
Kwegu (Mugudji)Malle
Omo Valley tribes names

Where is the Omo Valley?

The Omo Valley is located in South-Western Ethiopia near the Ethio-Kenyan border. it is found in the South Omo Zone, SNNPR, Ethiopia. Two of the four leading African linguistic families are represented in the area: Nilo-Saharan; and Afro-Asiatic, with the Omotic (endemic to the South Omo Zone) and Cushitic branches.

Map of Omo Valley Tribes

omo valley tribes - Omo Valley Travel & Tours

Omo valley Tribes map by Omo valley Tour and Travel.

What is the biggest tribe in Ethiopia?

the biggest ethnic in Ethiopia is the Oromo. however the Amhara ethnic group is not much lessor in number. the last population count was mad in 2007GC. The biggest of all the Omo Valley tribe is the Ari tribe.

Omo Valley Tribes Photos