Many of the indigenous peoples that inhabit southern Ethiopia have settled in the lowlands, but members of the Dorze Tribe prefer to live in the mountains that surround the Great Rift Valley. Twelve Dorze villages are scattered across these mountains, each nestled in a green glade like the one shown in the above photo. The Dorze live in extended family compounds, with huts being added each time a male member of the family takes a bride. Cooler mountain temperatures allow cultivation of a wider variety of crops than those grown in the brutally hot lowland. This abundance provides for a higher quality of health and a more advanced culture.
Other tribes I visited in the Omo Valley live in such difficult conditions that they are constantly struggling to survive. The Dorze, however, have leisure time, which they use to pursue arts. They are best known for their brilliant red and yellow textiles, which are painstakingly woven on wooden looms, using wool from their sheep. The Dorze Tribe also produces attractive pottery from the local red-colored clay and harvests honey from local hives, from which they brew a potent honey wine. Additionally, they carve decorations on dried gourds used for drinking and make musical instruments that are played for entertainment. But the most astonishing accomplishment of the Dorze Tribe has to be the elaborate beehive-shaped huts that they weave, which last more than 100 years.