Monday, January 21, 2013

ARBORE PEOPLE: ETHIOPIA`S ANCIENT FASHIONABLE TRIBE AND SPECIALISTS IN SORGHUM CULTIVATION

The Arbore or Erbore are Cushitic  agro-pastoral  people  dwelling  in  southwestern Omo Valley Ethiopia. Their population is  estimated to be around 7000. The Arbore territory is a savanna grassland around 500 m  elevation. The Weito River (local name Lima) flows from north to south and runs into the Lake Chew Bahir (Chelbz),  on the border between Ethiopia and Kenya.  The people live  along the lower part of the river.

                            Beautiful girls from Arbore tribe in Ethiopia`s Omo Valley

The Arbore  trace their ancestry from some of their neighbors like the Borana or the Marle, as is codified in the Arbore myths.  The Arbore culture is ancient but not static.  Arbore is said to be the name of the first ancestor of the Arbore Girl tribe. Arebore "ar" means land and "bore" also means bull. Therefor Arbore means "land of Bulls." They actually call  themselves  "Hoor",  in reference  to their dependence on the inundated flats.

             Arbore man performing body painting on a boy by the riverside.

Arbore together with their neighbors Konso and the Burji have Cushitic Konso language as their lingua franca. The Arbore sing and dance whiles performing rituals,they believe that their singing and dancing eliminates negative energy and with the negative energy gone, the tribe will prosper. The Arbore are very active traders and spread into distant areas.

                                             Arbore elders

Although the Arbore have well  developed technology  and knowledge for herding cattle, they depend on plant cultivation for  most of their food.  The Arbore provide cereal  grains for  neighboring groups through bond partnerships.
                                  Beautiful Arbore girl from Gandarabba,Omo Valley Ethiopia

The productivity of riverine environment occupied by the Arbore is  thus  crucial for  neighbors,  especially  during drought. The crops grown by the Arbore are sorghum, maize,cow pea, green, gourd  and pumpkin. Among these crops, sorghum is  the most important in terms of the amount of starch produced and the number of varieties  present.


The Arbore, the sorghum growing specialist among the tribes in Omo valley depends on both rainfall and the Weito river for their sorghum cultivation. There are two rainy seasons. The big  rain,  from  March  to  May,  is  quite  reliable,  but  the  small  rain ,  from  October  to November, is not reliable. The Arbore call the big rain "guh," and the small rain "hagai,"  and the  two intervening dry seasons  are  called "maar."

                           Arbore girls

The Arbore consists of a  northern division  called Arbore (Gondorobba),  and a southern division  called Marle. The northern Arbore have a  close relationship with the Tsamai,  and the Marle have a close ancestral and cultural relationship with the Konso, who dwell on the northern shore of the Lake Turkana.
                                        Arbore people

  Each major social division embraces two geographically distinct communities, or villages(dirr).  The northern Arbore (Gondorobba) occupy the villages of Gandara`ba (their main center and the residence of their paramount chief), Kulam, and Kuyle and the Marle occupy the villages of Murale and Egude.  These villages are autonomous social units.  Each has a religious chief (kawot),  a  political chief (kernet)  and a  group of elders (jalaab).

Areas of inundated flat  are  assigned  to  each household by elders  called mura  (Ayalew  1993). Arbore kwot performs rain-making functions too. All floods recede,  the elders of neighboring villages meet to decide where to  draw borders on the inundated flats  along the river; in this way the arable areas are divided and distributed to each village.
                                               Portrait of Arbore tribe girl
The social life of Arbore men are organized within age-grade system. Men of an age-grade are known as 'Gimm" (its generally mean contemporary). There are four age grades, namely Ogarsa,Gidama, Maarol and Wattana. Men who have passed through each grade of the system are said to belong to "Gerda" ( singular; "Greer" means Elder,Old man,husband). The final age-grade period culminates in a special ceremony called 'Nar."

                                                      Arbore Gerda (elders)


                               Arbore tribe young men

Clictoridectomy is practiced on the women of Arbore tribe. The operation is done during the period of prolong marriage rites, and the precedes consummation of marriage and the establishment of nuptial households by a period of four months to two years.

                 Beautiful old woman from Arbore tribe

Whiles Arbore men will take wives from Booran, Dassanech, Rendile or even Burji, they will usually not take wives from Konso or hammer tribes. Only in the Kuyle where men marry from Tsamako people, and even in that case other Arbore tribe people look down upon that marriage because Tsamako women are not circumcised.
                                 Beautiful Arbore tribe girls from Ethiopia`s Omo Valley

The Arbore distinguish four  types  of field  according to  ecological status  and  the social rules  of distribution:  (1)  Gofa  irit  are fields  made in  areas  of the  plain that are  not  inundated. The fields  are usually in small depressions that receive rainwater from  an adjacent hill  and are cultivated shortly after a rainy season has finished.  (2)  Dabante dersit  are fields made  at  the  center  of the  inundated  flats.
             Arbore boy. Ethiopia. The Arbore tribe from the lower Omo valley lives in a desert-like area - they 
         are pastorals and this gives them their name - ar means bull and bore land - the land of the bulls.

 The mura  distribute  plots  to  each  household, demarcating the borders with sticks called saaban. After distribution, the schedule of cultivation is put under the control of the mura.  Dabante dersit  are the most important fields for the people because they retain the most moisture . (3)  Simako  are made on  areas  of the inundated  flats  that  have  not  been  allocated  as  dabante  dersit.  ( 4)  Luchi  are  made  in riverine forest.  These fields  are usually small,  and few  in number.

                                            Arbore tribe kids


In the past, they used to possess the monopoly of the ivory trade. They exchange cattle for agricultural products from the Amare Kokke and aquire worked iron from the Kerre and Borana. The Arbore build their huts slightly oval in shape. The Arbore have a bodily mutilation of raised dots on the chest and abdomen. The Arbore believe in a Supreme Being creator and father of men whom they call Waq.
Arbore women are well know for their long headdresses. The girls shave their heads to indicate virginity, and only start growing hair after marriage
Arbore Virgin girl. Arbore women are well know for their long headdresses. The girls shave their heads to indicate virginity, and only start growing hair after marriage .Arbore Tribe, Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia

 The women of the tribe cover their heads with a black cloth and are known to wear very colorful necklaces and earrings. Young children will wear a shell type hat that protects their heads from the sun.
                                      Arbore boy with a painted face

 Body painting is done by the Arbore using natural colors made from solid and stone. Traditional dancing is practiced by the tribe and wealth is measured by the number of cattle a tribesman owns. Arbore is one of Ethiopia Cultural Tour in Omo Valley.
                            Tribal Arbore kids dressed in goatskin skirts

Source:http://books.google.com.gh/books?id=G6iE-NX6GCIC&pg=PA4&lpg=PA4&dq=arbore+CULTURE&source=bl&ots=bXQzqbxGMJ&sig=H7GuX4y-nnXfcCJeHwFZAcgUuNk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=WGz9UNjXCcjZswbWjoCADA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage


Awesome Photo shots of Beautiful Arbore People



                                                  Boy wearing Arbore face art





Portrait of Lago. Lago places strong importance on her identity as a member of the Arbore. Each tribe of the Omo valley has a specific way of dressing and decorating themselves as a way to visually associate themselves with their unique customs and values. 
Arbore Tribe, Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia




The Arbore tribe is a small tribe that lives in the southwest region of the Omo Valley. 
Arbore people are pastoralists. The women of the tribe cover their heads with a black cloth and are known to wear very colorful necklaces and earrings. Body painting is done by the Arbore using natural colors made from soil and stone. Traditional dancing is practiced by the tribe and wealth is measured by the number of cattle a tribesman owns.



PORTRAIT OF RUFO by Joey L.  After the introduction of missionaries into the Omo Valley the Arbore now share a mixture of monotheistic and traditional animist beliefs
                         Portrait of Arbore girl




Arbore Innocence II - Lower Omo Valley, Ethiopia. Young Abore sisters in small settlement near Weita River in Ethiopia's Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Region.



                                                               Little shepherd




Teenage Arbore girl

arbore women

























    Portrait of a girl from Arbore tribe carrying firewood on her back
Africa |  Arbore mother and child.  Ethiopia Сит...




























  Arbore mother and child















 Arbore sandstorm. This boy was protecting himself in a old tree. Arbore are a nomadic tribe who live in a desert part of Omo Valley












                                Arbore fashionable girls of Ethiopia omo Valley









                               Arbore mother and child;  Mama Africa














Erbore boys playing in trees - Omo Ethiopia

This is not a tropical illness! The Erbore men had to find a nice make up to attract attention, as the Erbore girls are the sexiest ones in south Ethiopia!



















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