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Inhabiting the southern part of the Omo Valley close to Lake Chew Bahir, the Arbore live in traditional papyrus made huts. Of their distinct indigenous way of life, one is their hair style. While unmarried Arbore girls shave, married ones wear their hair long.
Cattle Jumping is the climax of the rite of passage ceremony practiced by the Hamer, Bena, Beshada and Kara people of the Omo Valley. In the ceremony a fully naked boy or man runs on the back of a row of cattle at least four times.
The Dassanech occupy the southernmost part of the Omo Valley. Though they practice agriculture along River Omo, livestock is an important component of their economy and culture. The arid condition of the region forces them to practice transhumant way of life.
The Hamer are one of the most famous people of the Omo Valley known for maintaining their indigenous way of life reflected in their dressing and hairstyle among others.
The Kara are one of the smallest ethnic groups of the Omo Valley. They occupy a strategic position on the bank of River Omo. They practice body painting for important occasions.
Markets of the Omo Valley
For travelers to the Omo Valley visiting at least one of the three Omo Valley markets would make the experience complete. These are the Monday & Thursday market at Turmi, the Saturday & Tuesday market at Dimeka and the Thursday market at Key Afer. The Saturday market at Jinka, Tuesday at Alduba, Monday at Kako and Saturday at Arbore are also interesting. Markets in the Omo Valley are not only places of exchange of goods and services, but also are arena of socialization.
The Mursi are the most famous people of the Omo Valley who have kept their indigenous way of life. Mursi girls and women are known for wearing lip-plate as a form of decoration.
The Omo Valley is known for being land inhabited by diverse ethnic groups who have kept their indigenous way of life. The most famous of the Omo Valley people are the Mursi and the Hamer.
The Tsemai people occupy land west of River Weyto, the gate way of the Lower Omo Valley. They practice animal husbandry and farming. They have kept some aspects of their indigenous way of life.