The principle livelihood of the Tsemay tribe living in Ethiopia’s Lower Omo River Valley is rearing livestock, but they practice agriculture alongside animal husbandry. They mainly produce sorghum and maize using the slash and burn method and shifting cultivation. They have a tradition of cooperating with each other during land preparation, as well as farming and harvesting, which is a common feature of most of theĀ  Omo Valley tribes (ethnic groups) in the area.

Decisions are made by calling a bulki (general assembly) of the Tsemay whoh dwels in South-West Ethiopian Omo Valley.

The spiritual leader of the Tsemay tribe is the bogolko, who prays for rain, good harvests, the health of children and also makes the sacrifices. Tsemay tribe ethnic groups are considered as magicians by people in the urban areas of the southern Omo area.

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Similar to all the lowland ethnic groups of the Omo, the main staple of the Tsemay tribe of Omo Valley Ethiopia is prepared from sorghum and maize. In the absence of sufficient grain they use local plants such as halekko (moringa), erro, merahie and machie as alternative foodstuffs. In times of surplus, the Tsemay tribe mix sorghum with ash so that it can be stored for a long time without being spoilt or damaged by insects.

The men wear the ode, a sarong-like garment. They also wear beaded ornaments on their elbows and neck. Until marriage, girls wear garments made from cotton or leather. Married women wear the fulat, a skirt made from leather that is narrowed at the front and thicker at the back. They also wear kashe (a necklace).

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