The Aari are blessed with vast and fertile lands in the north of Mago National Park. In fact, they own the largest territory of all local tribes. Expand your mind by experiencing their local customs and history.
Region is Central Africa
Climate here is Tropical
Their copious amounts of land lends itself to an agricultural lifestyle. The Aari cultivate legumes and fruits. Plus, they produce goods like coffee, cardamom and honey for sale.
Circular homes are common in Aari settlements. The main wooden wall structure is plastered with mud and finished with roofs made from branches and covered with grass.
Their territory is divided into nine zones, each with its own leader. They also have a spiritual leader called a Babi who has a ritual assistant known as a Godmi.
Many of the Aari still follow a local religion, based on time-honored legends that explain the formations of their clans. Evangelical Christianity however is growing in popularity.
Traditional skirts made from banana leaves are still used today as part of special occasions. Adorning the body with paint and colorful beaded bracelets is another important part of Aari culture.
Aari is one of the Omotic languages of Ethiopia. It’s spoken by all the local people, as well as some neighboring tribes.
In the Aari language there’s a word for wall-painting, bartsi, which means ‘giving beauty’. Women in the community each have a unique take on painting, using different motifs, colours and materials.
The bull jumping ceremony involves young men about to marry. The ceremony features the boy’s sisters and young female relatives being whipped with sticks as proof of their sacrifices for him.
The weather in Ethiopia can have an impact on your visit to the Omo Valley. Some roads in the area are also not paved, which means you’ll need to travel through river beds and streams.
Photo credit: Landscape near Arba Minch iStock.com/Artush
Photo credit: women sorting coffee beans iStock.com/hadynyah
Photo credit: Ethiopia: Ari Village iStock.com/Goddard_Photography