Konso Tribe

UNESCO world heritage site, famed for its stone walled terraces

Konso is a UNESCO world heritage site and makes a perfect day trip for those seeking to visit to one of the traditional cultures or is an interesting place to visit on your way to the Omo Valley.

Konso is best known for its stone walled terraces and fortified settlements, a spectacular example of a living cultural tradition stretching back 21 generations (more than 400 years) adapted to its dry hostile environment. Konso has unique anthropomorphic wooden statues (Waga) – grouped to represent respected members of their communities and particularly heroic events – which are an exceptional living testimony to funerary traditions that are on the verge of disappearing. Stone steles express a complex system of marking the passing of generations of leaders.

The erection of stones and poles is part of the Konso tradition. A generation pole is raised every 18 years, marking the start of a new generation. The age of a village can be determined by how many poles are standing.

A popular highlight of Konso Village is the aptly named New York. Created by erosion, these tall, narrow mud towers of red clay are named for how they resemble the skyscrapers of the Big Apple.