Ari Tribe

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Bako, Ethiopia
Off to the Ari tribe encounter who wore western clothes.

In the late 1800s, Amhara rulers were sent to the Omo River region by Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia. By the early 1900s, the Amhara rulers had become owners of the region and the Aari became serfs. In addition, a strong alcoholic beverage known as 'araqe was introduced to the area and the Aari culture began to decline. The decline was reverted in 1974 when the monarchy was overthrown and the Aari were able to reclaim their traditional lands. Since then, social and economic situations have improved dramatically and interest in education has flourished; most Aari towns today have at least one school. Faith is also a way of life in all Aari communities and most towns have an Orthodox church; there is a significant population of Aari who practice their traditional beliefs as well.

Aari has a population of 235,000 first language speakers as of 2007, of which 129,350 are monolingual. 13,319 second language users were also recorded in 2007. The ethnic population is 155,002 as of 1989.

Aari is used at home and at local markets. The size of the Aari tribe is growing, and thus the Aari language has seen an increase in language use and development in recent years. The language is learned by all of the Aari people and some members of neighboring tribes as well. Many Aari speakers also use Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia, or Wolaytta, the language of a neighboring Omotic tribe. Thanks Mr Wikipedia.

We won't reflect on the angry blacksmith but on both the alcohol brewing process, injera making demonstration at the end of the village visit and how the locals with their cell phones wanted pictures of us!

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