People Of The Ethiopian Mountains And Their CulturePeople Of The Ethiopian Mountains And Their Culture


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People Of The Ethiopian Mountains And Their Culture


Rugged terrains, steep cliffs, deep valleys and dense forests with thick canopy of trees - these are what make up the Ethiopian Mountains or the Ethiopian Highlands. Home to some of the tallest peaks and mountains in Africa, the Ethiopian Highlands are dissected into northwestern and southeastern parts by the colossal Great Rift Valley. Among the myriad ethnic groups that lead a life of struggle and hardship amidst these rocky cliffs, the Amhara people constitute the majority of population of the Ethiopian Highlands.

Rich in tradition, dedicated to the cause of preserving their culture amidst all adversities and deprivation, the people of the Ethiopian Mountains, have been the life force of the history and religion of Ethiopia for thousands of years. Descendents of the Tigray-Tiigrinya, these people came to the mountains and mingled with the Cushitic tribes and adopted much of their culture and traditions through intermarriages. One can find great resemblance of these Amharas of the Ethiopian Mountains with the southern Arabs, with their olive brown skin and striking Caucasian features.

Considering the harsh surroundings where they dwell, the lives of the people of the mountains are filled with trials and tribulations. Men are engaged in working at the fields, while their women counterparts manage the home front. Even the children of these Ethiopian Highlands indulge in sheep watching and other such odd jobs. In spite of these ordeals, the people of Ethiopian Mountains are an undaunted lot, unflinching in their devotion towards preservation of their culture.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church constitutes the very basis of the culture of the Amharas. The boy children born to the Amhara people are baptized on the fortieth day and the little girls on the eightieth day after they are born. This culture of Baptism symbolizes their formal entry to the Church and is considered to be the first step towards attaining salvation. The culture of the people of the Highlands also stresses on the custom of fasting wherein all followers of the Christian faith undergo a fasting of at least 180 days. The Amharas, staunch as they are, are yet a fearful lot and are reluctant to accept foreign ideas, keeping out of the way of even Christian missionaries. The culture of these people of the Mountains is essentially that of an Orthodox Christian with no place for outsiders.

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People Of The Ethiopian Mountains And Their Culture

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