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DORZE

DORZE COMPOSICION

The Dorze villages are located north of Arba Minch, in the vicinity of Chencha, in the mountains of Abaya and Chamo lakes.

Their main sources of income are weaving and tourism. They make cotton fabrics called shemma, which are used throughout the country. Also, gabis, thicker fabrics, with bright colors and geometric drawings, which are used as ponchos or blankets. Men are the ones who run the looms and women are the ones who spin the cotton.

Dorze houses are different from other villages, their structure is reminiscent of an elephant, they have a protrusion at the entrance reminiscent of the trunk and two windows on top that look like the eyes of the elephant. The trunk is covering of the vestibule and the eyes are the windows for the exit of smoke. They have a large main room with a fire in the center and seats around it and two bamboo partitions, one for the animals and the other for the double room.

The houses are built with a solid structure of braided bamboo and are covered with enset leafs (false banana. They are very resistant and light and can be transported. They can last up to two generations, about 60 years. In addition to inclement weather, the termites are destroying the houses. They are built with a lot of height and as over years get lower since the termites eat the bases of their structure. The houses are usually surrounded by a garden and have a vegetable garden at the back where they grow fruits, vegetables and false bananas.

The Dorzes are Orthodox Christians. Among their customs is that of getting virgins to marriage. Men usually marry with about 26 years old and 20 or 21 women. After the wedding they are locked up in the house for 3 months,

They have a rich polyphonic tradition. The more detailed polyphonic songs called edho are usually sung at festivals such as Timkat or Meskel or the Halak initiation party ceremony in which adult men acquire the status of elders or leaders of the community.

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