From Turmi, we drove for about 3 hours north to reach Konso where we stayed at the Kanta Lodge. The Konso Tribe is known for their fortified settlements and their Waka totem poles and is one of the nine Unesco World Heritage sites in Ethiopia. These wakas or totem poles are carvings created in memory of a deceased member who has killed an enemy or a dangerous animal. They are often arranged in groups with the statues representing the man, his wives, and his adversaries. The Konso people are mainly farmers known for growing their crops on stonewalled terraces to prevent soil erosion in this harsh arid environment. They built stone walls of up to 5 meters high around the fields in order to collect and keep water for cultivation. In Konso community, there are nine clans headed by nine chiefs. These clans are patrilineal and exogamous meaning individuals are required to marry outside of one’s own clan. It was very interesting to walk through the well organized village with our local guide Choo Choo and to see the six different layers of defensive stone walls as the village grew larger over time.
Next stop will be on the Dorze people which is the last stop of my Omo Valley adventures. Stayed tuned!
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