COMMUNITY TOURISM IN KONSO HIGHLANDS

Situated on the bank of the seasonal Segan River at an altitude of 1650m, Karat Konso is the special district, and the junction town through which passes all road traffic into the south Omo valley, and forms an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding basalt hills and the traditional villages that dot them. Karat Konso is inhabited by the Konso ethnic group, a pagan people, erect eerie wooden totems [called waka] replete with phallic symbols over the graves of the dead and have numerous cults based around the breeding and veneration of serpents. They too practices mixed agricultural system and make the most of hard rocky slopes that characterize their relatively dry and infertile homeland through a combination of rock terracing, the use of animal dung as fertilizer, crop rotation and hard work. The most important crop in the region is sorghum, which is harvested twice annually: after the short rains in February and March. Sorghum is used to make a thick local beer, while the finely ground flour forms the base of the Konso staple dish of Korkofa or Dama, a sort of dough ball that cooked like a dumpling in a stew or soap. Other important crops include maize, beans and coffee. Oddly the Konso shun coffee beans in favor of the leaves which are sun dried, ground to a fine powder, and mixed with sunflower seeds and various species to form an easily stored local equivalent to instant coffee. Konso people are very proud of their culture and their mountains and are very happy to show and teach as much about it as they can do to outsiders. Obviously, the longer you spend in Konso the more you will get to know and love the magical landscapes and people of the area. Come upto explore and experience this stunning world with OVERLAND Ethiopia Tours!

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