Ethiopia: the Mursi

  The Mursi are perhaps the archetypical South Omo tribe. A warlike tribe of semi-pastoralists who regularly go on cattle raids against neighbouring tribes, the Mursi are both feared and reviled in the region. Kalashnikov-toting men and women (and even children) swagger around the village with a mixture of arrogance and disdain for the few(…)

Ethiopia: confused in Konso

  The Konso are a martial tribe which lives in hilltop compounds built like small maze-like fortresses. The Konso settlement we visit plays host to 600 households and is surrounded by stone walls covered in thorns. Only four narrow entrances allow entry into the compound. Inside the “fortress”, dozens of narrow, winding lanes connect the(…)

Ethiopia: The Incredible Dorze Shrinking House

The Dorze, a tribe of master-weavers build their houses like giant, inverted baskets made of bamboo bark and banana leaves. The houses are built up to 12m tall and are home to a family and its animals (cows, goats, chicken). Every year the Dorze house will shrink by about an inch as termites do their(…)

Ethiopia: Bale Mountains

  The Bale Mountains in South East Ethiopia are a region of Afro-Montane forests and moorlands, arid and sparsely populated. And Avatar-like environment of gnarly old trees, bamboo forests and giant heather, often lost in a sea of clouds. The Bale Mountains support many species of plants and animals endemic to Ethiopia. Most fascinating among(…)

Ethiopia: The Tribes of South Omo

  South Omo, in the badlands between Ethiopia and Northern Kenya’s Turkana region is a living gallery of Africa’s most primitive tribes, almost untouched by civilization – except that they have traded their spears for Kalashnikovs. Two dozen tribes live there in a scorched, mountainous landscape, some agriculturalists, others pastoralists. It is a hostile and(…)