The Dorze live in Southern Ethiopia on the Gamo plateau, in the past they were feared warriors and practiced the animist religion: nowadays they are farmers and Coptic Christians; they are fervent believers and practitioners and celebrate Orthodox Christian holidays like the Meskel, but still practice some rituals and ceremonies that are rooted in animism, such as funerals and marriages.

The Dorze huts have a very particular and easily recognizable structure: they are up to 12 meters high and look like the face of a giant animal.

The huts are internally large and are divided into some areas, each with a specific function, they are made of bamboo and enset.

The enset, or false banana, is not only used for the construction of huts, but has a central role in the life of the Dorze; some parts like the roots and the false trunk, are edible and are the basis of this population’s diet, the leaves are also used to cook food and to preserve them or as food for the animals.
 

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Dorze people - Photo Credits: Romina Facchi

Dorze people
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Dorze village - Photo Credits: Romina Facchi

The Dorze villages
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Dorze people: enset - Photo Credits: Romina Facchi

The importance of the enset for the Dorze