Dorze in Ethiopia

Map Source:  Amanuel Getachew Mamo
People Name: Dorze
Country: Ethiopia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 43,000
World Population: 43,000
Primary Language: Dorze
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 86.00 %
Evangelicals: 36.00 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Omotic
Affinity Bloc: Horn of Africa Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Dorze live in the Gamo Gofa region, an eight hour journey from Addis Ababa. There are 12 kebeles (Amharic for village or small township) of Dorze people.

The Dorze are very industrious and are well educated, comparatively speaking. The literacy rate is estimated to be 45%. They are "cousins" of the Gamo tribe, but consider themselves superior to the Gamo. The Dorze Christians are largely Orthodox, while the Gamo Christians are largely Protestant.

The Omotic Dorze people are famous for their beehive shaped huts which are constructed with vertical hardwood poles and woven bamboo. According to the inhabitants this towering, re-locatable, structure can go as high as 12 meters and last from 60-80 years. Traditionally the bamboos that are used as frames for the huts are cut during moonlight. For insulating the roof of the hut a thatch of false banana (Enset), grass and cover of the bamboo stem are used. Through time when termites destroy the basement of the huts, after having avoided the rotten part of the basement, the whole structure can be lifted and relocated in a different place of the same compound. This practice explains why the hut is first built so high. The older the house the shorter the height.

What Are Their Needs?

No clean water, lacking in school/medical supplies, no electricity, sickness from water-borne diseases is common.

Text Source:   Silvia van Roozendaal