Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.

-Ethiopian Proverb-

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tribes of Ethiopia

One thing that I have wanted to know more about are the different tribes of people who are scattered throughout Ethiopia. Our orphanage has a network of 20 different intake centers located in different regions of the country, and my future daughters could likely come from opposite sides of Ethiopia. I came across a blog the other day from a couple who adopted from the same orphanage we are going through, and they made reference to the different tribal features of their children. Their new daughter has the "cinnamon complexion and almond-shaped eyes" that are apparently common with the Amhara people of the north, and their new son has the "dark complexion and tall stature" of the Somali tribe who live in the south. My curiosity was piqued when I looked at the differences between their two children. How will my future daughters look? Will they be from the same region? The same tribe perhaps? Of course it doesn't matter what they look like; they will be loved all the same, but knowing more about the distinctive looks of each tribe may be helpful in establishing pride in their identity. After researching, my husband and I found that my daughter, L, has the facial features and small body stature of the Aztec people, and knowing this information has helped her come to terms with her heritage. Knowing L's genetic composition has also been helpful from a medical standpoint because her doctors have been able to make some generalizations regarding her growth and development rate based on an understanding of people who are of Aztec descent. Knowing as much as possible about the heritage and past of an adopted child is only to their benefit. The more an adoptive parent can answer their child's questions, the better adjusted that child will be. So, I decided to embark on a search to find out as much as possible about the different tribes found throughout Ethiopia. I have discovered that the internet is, needless to say, chock-full of information. Following are some slide shows I thought would be interesting to share with you. Some of these slides contain partial nudity,so this is a heads-up to people who would rather not see pictures of people "in the raw" so to speak. I,however,think the people in the slides are amazing; they just have different social norms and different ideas of what is beautiful. I sincerely hope you enjoy these slides.

Here is a slide show with images of the Afar people.They live in the northeastern part of Ethiopia. They are a nomadic people who live in dry, desert conditions.

These slides feature the Amhara people. They are the largest tribe in Ethiopia, and they live in the north central highlands of Ethiopia. They are primarily farmers.

The Mursi people live near the border of Sudan. These people are famous for their lip plates as you will see in the slides. They are nomads who survive through cattle herding.

Mursi on Fotopedia

The Borana Oromo people are a subgroup of the Oromo tribe which split into two halves. The Borana Oromo can be found in southern Ethiopia, and they are considered pastoralists.

The people of the Hamer tribe are located in the southwestern part of Ethiopia. They live a pastoral lifestyle, so cattle is very important to them.

These slides represent just a small sample of the numerous and diverse tribes found throughout Ethiopia. I am excited to share images such as these with my future daughters. Hopefully they will be proud to call these people their own; they are a part of their amazing heritage!

No comments:

Post a Comment