Konso Village

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Konso, Ethiopia
Then off to the Konso village and it was like a pied piper procession with the children following. Us. Yes, I had wanted to take photos of the villagers but once you start paying one then everyone wants in. At times I wish I had the Powershot out.

The clay pot at the top of the roofs are not only decorative but also ties the thatch together. A cross indicates that this family is Orthodox Christian.

The Konso, are a Cushitic-speaking ethnic group primarily inhabiting south-central Ethiopia.

According to Hallpike (1972), Konso family traditions indicate that they are a composite people, both physically and culturally, with members originally hailing from all the surrounding areas.

In terms of physical appearance, the Konso tend to be small and wiry, with high cheekbones and pointed chins. Skin color ranges from reddish-brown to almost black, but is dark brown on average. Some individuals more closely resemble the Oromo, possessing thin lips and greater stature; others have a distinctly more 'africoid' phenotype and are much shorter.

Konso typically live in large towns, each governed by a council of elders.

According to the 2007 Ethiopian national census, the Konso numbered 250,430 individuals, of whom 10,470 or 4.18% are urban dwellers. Over 87% live in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region.

Although there are today marked differences in customs between the Konso and their Oromo neighbors, Konso society has also retained some commonalities with traditional Oromo culture. The latter include the gadaa generation-grading system of social organization, similar high priests and a cult of phallicism.

Konso society is largely agricultural and involves the irrigation and terracing of mountain slopes. Staple crops include sorghum and corn, with cash crops including cotton and coffee. Cattle, sheep, and goats are raised for food and milk.

Polygyny is an accepted practice among the Konso.

Group members also erect carvings (wagas) / generation poles, which are created in memory of a dead man who has killed an enemy or animal. The statues are often arranged in groups, with statues representing the man, his wives, and his adversaries present.

In terms of creed, the Konso practice a traditional religion centered on the worship of Waaq/Wakh. In the related Oromo culture, Waaq denotes the single god of the early pre-Abrahamic, montheistic faith believed to have been adhered to by Cushitic groups. Thanks Mr Wikipedia.

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