Painted tower in one of the towns. (787k) Larger local village. (706k) Local settlement. (1205k) Houses in a village in the Ethiopian highlands. (971k) Small local village. (888k) In the northern parts, each homestead had a living house (left), a kitchen building (right) and a storage building (center), surrounded by a stone wall. (1.5M) Small village of the Hamer tribe. (910k) Small village of the Hamer tribe. (1056k) Building in the village of the Hamer tribe. (801k) Small village of the Arbore tribe. (875k) Small village of the Arbore tribe. (981k) Building in the village of the Arbore tribe. (921k) Village of the Mursi tribe. (975k) Village in the Simien Mountains. (1136k) House in the Simien Mountains. The pole on the left with the can on top signifies that they sell the local brew in this place. (934k) Small house, surrounded by thorn brush fence. (891k) Local houses. The houses were built in different styles in the different tribal areas in Ethiopia. (1095k) Local houses. (1182k) Local house in the Simien Mountains. (1076k) Local house in Lalibela. (944k) Local houses. (738k) Local house. (1113k) Pounding cassava. (750k) Cooking fire in the house. (752k) Interior of the house. (754k) Local house of the Alaba tribe. (567k) Sleeping area the house of the Alaba tribe. (725k) Cooking area the house of the Alaba tribe. (767k) Living area the house of the Alaba tribe, with pen for livestock. (770k) Local house under old tree. (1053k) Larger local house. (989k) Cooking facilities in a local house. (665k) Cooking implements. (909k) Local houses. (1150k) Local houses. In some areas, houses were build on stilts to keep pests away. (977k) Local house. (1373k) Local house. (1061k) Local house. (1169k) Local house. (1008k) Local house. (1310k) Simple hut. There is probably a whole family living there. (1019k) Small church. (952k) Straw from the harvest is collected and stored. Here it is protected from animals by thorn brush. (1136k) Here the straw is protected from animals by putting it up in a tree. (1052k) Here the straw is protected from animals by putting it on platforms. (1399k) Storage building on high stilts to protect the food from animals. (1214k) Here the straw is kept inside the fence around the compound. (1371k) Collection of cow dung. (1317k) These enclosures protect newly planted trees. (1282k) Wind powered water pump. (593k) The language in this area makes excessive use of double vowels. (1021k) Local art. (1006k) Graves. (1344k) Sentry to protect crops. (974k) Small school. (686k) Teaching aid in the school yard. (1099k) Restaurant. Everybody eats with their fingers, no utensils provided. (666k) Local dish. It is served on flat bread and has various vegetables and meats. (719k)
The Gamole village is inhabited by the Konso people. There are about 4000 people in this village. It is over 800 years old. It is a warren of small paths between stone walls.
The community meting house is also used as "hotel" for visiting important people. I met the local ruler/king/chieftain, who showed me around for a while. They are famous for their "Wakas", wooden statues that they erect on the graves of their leaders and of famous warriors.
In the center of the village is a small square with the Generation Pole. Every 18 years a new pole is erected. They currently have 22 Generation Poles, but more were destroyed by termites.
Families in the village have 1-3 cows 5-8 sheep, few goats. The animals live in the village, they are not brought outside for grazing.
The original village was surrounded by a stone wall. As the village expanded, they built another,larger wall. This last wall was built around 400 years ago. By now the village has expanded beyond that as well and doesn't have an outer wall.
View of the village. (948k) Community meeting house. (944k) Buildings. (1107k) Building on stilts. (1040k) Building. (1158k) Vegetable garden. (1041k) Path. (1248k) Path. (1131k) Playground. (1037k) Generation Pole. (742k) Compound of the local king. (909k) Entrance to the king's compound. (1347k) Building in the king's compound. (1144k) Building in the king's compound. (846k) Kitchen implements in the king's compound. (782k) Storage vessels. (1028k) Grinding stones. (705k) Fire place. (1025k) Local king. (1050k) Grave markers of the ancestors of the local king. (1490k) Grave markers of the ancestors of the local king. (1130k) Older grave markers of the ancestors of the local king. (1.6M) Oldest grave markers of the ancestors of the local king. (1.6M)
The main income for the village is cotton and wool weaving. The second most important is traditional dances, the third is pottery.
The houses in the Dorze village have a unique style. They are made from bamboo for the structure and false banana leaves for the roofing. The houses are originally 12 m (39 ft) high. As they grow older, they sink down, as termites eat at the supporting poles. The tall house is about 50 years old, the small one on the left is 90 years old. The houses are shaped like an elephant. The eyes are windows for ventilation. Building such a house tapes 2-3 months. It lasts 70 - 120 years. The roof lasts 20-50 years. Kitchens are not in the main house, they are separate buildings (left). The houses have an inside area for cattle. The small fire inside is for making coffee, not for regular cooking. They can be moved if the termites get too bad.
The false bananas are used for many things, including food, housing and fibers. The stems are shaved to make porridge and a kind of flat bread. The shaved stem is put in leaves and buried for 3 months to cure it. The porridge is then spread on leaves and pressed to make a flat bread, which is then baked.
These houses in a Dorze village had a very distinct style. (892k) Dorze house. (972k) Interior of the house in the Dorze village. (604k) Interior of the house in the Dorze village. (902k) Calabashes in the house in the Dorze village. (792k) Guest house using local huts. (1075k) Dorze woman spinning yarn. (1078k) The young one is starting as well. (936k) Dorze man showing traditional dance. (1006k) Weaving cloth in the Dorze village. (927k) Making clay pots and figures in the Dorze village. (755k) Market in the Dorze village. (1057k) Livestock trading. (1061k) Pottery for sale. (1003k) Some of the pots are huge. (993k) Cloth and clothes for sale. (1051k) Raw cotton for sale. (1056k) Yarn for sale. (955k) Construction bamboo for sale. (1337k) Kids fetching water. (1206k) False banana plants. (1162k) Shaving the false banana stem. (960k) This was buried for 3 months. It is now ready to be used. (1007k) Preparing the porridge to make the bread. (1055k) Spreading the porridge. (1073k) Pressing it in a thin sheet. (1051k) Baking the bread. (918k)
Falasha (Ethiopian Jews) village
Wolleka is a former Falasha village (Ethiopian Jews), a village of black Jews. However, there are no Jews remaining there, they were all moved to Israel in the 1980s.
Sign for the Falasha village. (1168k) In the Falasha village. (1140k)
Road between Aksum and the Simien Mountains. (751k) Road construction. (676k) Road construction. (1049k) Road construction. (1152k) Blasting for road construction. (764k) We had to wait for about ½ hour before they cleared the debris from the blasting. (1252k) Finally the road was clear again. (1003k) Road construction workers built these little shelters along the road. (938k) Road traffic. There was a lot of foot traffic and livestock on all the roads. (621k) Pedestrian bridge. (1239k) It was dry season, so the roads were mostly dusty, (503k) But occasionally there was a quick rain shower. (845k) Sometimes it came down in buckets. (528k) Many roads were not paved, some where difficult to negotiate. (1045k) Men and women carried loads. (914k) Some women carried fairly heavy loads. (1081k) Load with the child on top. (788k) This was a lighter load. (1186k) Water frequently had to be carried long distances. (1194k) Some loads looked quite awkward to carry. (855k) He carried some kind of animals in this contraption. (620k) Some loads were huge. (1098k) Homebuilt wheelbarrow. (713k) Homebuilt wheelbarrow. (960k) Donkey. (916k) Donkey. (1013k) Donkey with a large load. (676k) These bamboo poles dragged along on the road. (742k) I didn't see riders very often. (984k) Camels where not very frequent. (906k) Motorcycles were popular. (1130k) Lots of horse-drawn carts. (1029k) In one area the boys always stood on their carts, instead of sitting. (807k) Lots of these scooter taxis. (790k) This was our Toyota 4x4. (1133k) There were three types of buses: The green buses were the most expensive ones. The make the least stops. (694k) The yellow buses were the least expensive one. They make the most stops. (721k) The blue buses were the priced in the middle. (627k) Isuzu truck. My driver called them "Al Qaeda", because they create havoc on the roads, being involved in many accidents. (613k) An "Al Qaeda" accident. (805k) Another "Al Qaeda" accident. (1025k) Some of the trucks were pretty big. (938k) Local bus. (646k) Some of the boats were quite primitive. (923k) Some of the boats were quite primitive. (808k) A kayak made from reeds. (763k) This reed boat was used for transporting quite a lot of goods. (524k) Regular motorboat. (1127k)
Livestock and Agriculture
Stored straw from previous harvest. (1064k) Bananas. (1494k) Papayas (Carica papaya, german: Papaya, french: Papayer). (1271k) Corn harvest. (1193k) Corn harvest. (1202k) Vegetable garden. (1155k) Farming terraces. (1000k) He is carrying a simple plow. (862k) Banana plantation. (841k) Banana harvest truck. (927k) Khat harvest, a drug that is mostly exported to Djibouti. (1357k) Bee hives in a tree. (916k) Bee hives in a tree. (1213k) Bee hive in a tree. (1392k) Sheep. (935k) Goat. (1082k) Angora goats. (936k) Donkeys. (1118k) Livestock on the road. (787k) Cow around town. (932k) Watusi Cattle (Bos taurus africanus, german: Hausrind, french: Vache). (1076k) Watusi Cattle (Bos taurus africanus, german: Hausrind, french: Vache) used for plowing. (1209k) Livestock on the road, including a dromedary. (774k) Dromedary (Camelus dromedarius, german: Dromedar, french: Dromadaire). (1134k)
Getting water from the well. (1070k) Getting water from the river. (1003k) Pumping water. This is all done by women. (1311k) Bathing in the river. (906k) Washing clothes in the river. (1099k) Playing games. (991k) Hanging out at the market, smoking the water pipe. (1082k)