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Konso People

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Konso people are located in the arid highlands of southwestern Ethiopia. Their sharply delimited traditional territory is bounded by lands of Oromo peoples, to whom the Konso are culturally and linguistically related. Konso people are Cushitic people.

Konso people are farmers, living in fortified villages bounded by their farming land. They developed a defensive style of building, with villages on hilltops, protected by fortifications around them.

Konso people Gesergios village commonly known as New York village due to its natural landscape with mountain structure that seems precisely a big city with modern buildings.

For the most part rocks of quartz minerals form the mountain and Konso village. Konso village is a graceful composition of rock walls and wood.

They grow their crops on terraces, thus using every bit of land possible. They are also famous bee-keepers. The Konso are an efficient, resourceful, charming, careful, and hard-working people.

Konso people’s societal arrangement is clan-based. The people are comprised of nine clans (gada) with an average size of seven thousand members. The clans’ structure is based on exogamy and patrilinearity.

They are renowned for their wooden anthropomorph statuettes, erected in honor of important – deceased – people. The statuettes are called Waga in the Konso language.

The statuettes are always placed in groups, with the main figure in the center, bounded by people and animals that were vital to him during his lifetime. An additional fashionable art form is the use of the kalasha (large fallus symbols in wood), which are worn on the forehead during special events.

It is only reasonable that one also finds wagas with kalasha. Most widespread sculpting material is gayo wood. The Konso’s neighbors, the Gato tribe, has similar traditions and are often seen as a Konso tribe, which is why they are called the Konso-Gato.

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