The Dorze are a small ethnic group inhabiting the Gamo Gofa Zone (formerly part of the Semien Omo Zone) of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region in Ethiopia.
The Dorze tribe consists of about 28,000 individuals and is one of the smallest ethnic groups in Ethiopia. They primarily live in the southern parts of the country, though some have migrated to Addis Ababa and other regions. Many reside in villages near the cities of Chencha and Arba Minch.
The elegant but somehow oddly elephant-shaped Dorze house remains a major draw, with two air-holes at the top to resemble eyes. They are constructed entirely from natural materials, such as strips of bamboo or leaves from the etete tree.
The journey to Dorze from Arba Minch is rough, steep and dusty. The road is winding up the mountain and a four-wheel drive car is recommended.
When you finally arrive at the Dorze village, you will be rewarded not only by the colorful and fascinating cultural aspects of the Dorze but also by the amazing view over Lake Chamo and Lake Abaya 900 meter below.
Apart from the occasional tourist visits, which bring in a significant amount of money, the Dorze’s day-to-day life remains largely unchanged from the traditions of the past. The men tend to the maize and bean harvests on the fields, the boys chase the goats and cattle across the meadows and the women care for home and hearth.
Market day in Chencha
Every Tuesday and Saturday there is a big market in Chencha – only 8km from Dorze. Different tribes walk long to and from market place and best time to visit is 10:30AM and 3:PM. The market is colorful and fascinating because it really gives an impression about how people live their life in this remote part of Africa.