The south east of Ethiopia near where the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan meet is home to a group of mainly nomadic tribes
It is largely a very traditional part of Ethiopia with numerous tribes, mainly nomadic, living in the highlands and valleys surrounding the Omo River
If visiting the part of the Ethiopia the South Omo Research Centre Museum, Which is a German/Ethiopian collaboration provides awonderful introduction to the tribes and their cultures in the Region
Not far from Jinka along one of the dirt roads that connect villages
Roads which the walking paths through the landscape
Is the small market village of K’ey Afer which on market day is abuzz with colour and activity
Selling spices and earthenware
And cattle and sheep
K’ey Afer is n the Hamar tribal area
Each tribe is distinctive in clothing hairstyle and custom. Some tribes are less welcoming to tourists that others.
Like all traditional cultures though there is a challenge to of maintaining custom in the face of western society encroachment
Up in the mountains
Is the land of the Mursi, a warrior tribe and visiting without prior approval is not advised
The Omo River winds its south toward Lake Turkana which is the largest permanent desert lake and largest alkaline lake in the world.
This southern part of Ethiopia is very hot, dry and dusty a significant contrast to the cool moistness of the central plateau.
This is Dassanetch country and these nomadic herders land has traditionally spanned the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan
The simple housing reflective of the nomadic existence of the Dassanetch
There are over a dozen tribes in the South Omo Zone
Others include the Borani, Banna Surmu and others
All culturally and physical distinctive in their own ways.
It is nearly 13 years since visiting this part of Ethiopia and even then the tribal life here was under threat. – Like traditional life in all continents.
Since this time the Omo River has been dammed and resettlement from the more populous parts of Ethiopia into this Zone has accelerated.
All this presents a survival challenge for these traditional tribes , their culture and way of life