Introduction / History The Arbore people, whose official primary religion is Islam, are from the Omotic language family. They live west of the Woito river (which flows from north to south into the swampy plain which was once lake Stefanie), northeast of the lake, and on the right bank of the lower Sagan. Konso is the lingua franca in this area.
In the space of a few square miles, there are four large Arbore villages, Jellifa, Egudi, Gula'ma and Gondara'ba, the last being their main center and the residence of their paramount chief. Arbore is said to be the name of the first ancestor of the Arbore Girl tribe (Source: Ron and Viv). The Arbore claim that they have always lived in their present territory. Together with the Burji, and the Konso, the Arbore speak Cushitic languages. The Arbore are very active traders and spread into distant areas.
In the past, they used to possess the monopoly of the ivory trade. They exchange cattle for agricultural products from the Amare Kokke and aquire worked iron from the Kerre and Borana. The Arbore build their huts slightly oval in shape. The Arbore have a bodily mutilation of raised dots on the chest and abdomen. The Arbore believe in a Supreme Being creator and father of men whom they call Waq.