Ari women are famous for their pottery which they sell to support their families. The Ari inhabits the northern border of Mago National park in southwestern Ethiopia. Ari villages have neat compounds in fertile and scenic land with Coffee plantations. They have large livestock herds and produce large quantities of honey. The women wear skirts from the banana like tree, called Enset.
In the late 1800s, Amhara rulers were sent to the Omo River region by Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia. By the early 1900s, the Amhara rulers had become owners of the region and the Aari became serfs. In addition, a strong alcoholic beverage known as ‘araqe was introduced to the area and the Aari culture began to decline. The decline was reverted in 1974 when the monarchy was overthrown and the Aari were able to reclaim their traditional lands. Since then, social and economic situations have improved dramatically and interest in education has flourished; most Aari towns today have at least one school. Faith is also a way of life in all Aari communities and most towns have an Orthodox church; there is a significant population of Aari who practice their traditional beliefs as well.