The UNESCO Villages Around Konso

From our visits in Omo Valley, Konso was maybe not the most tribal, but still one of the most interesting to visit.

Konso is the name of the city which the 44 villages are situated around, but it is also the name of the tribe living there. The Konso people typically build their villages on top of the mountains, with views to spot potential intruders. The entrances of the villages all have circular wooden huts where young men would sleep and keep guard.

The reason why the Konso villages are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites is that they were built around 1200 years ago, and the fundaments of the houses and corridors in the village have been remaining unchanged. The villages have maze-like corridors which were fun to walk, especially with a flock of hundred kids following us curiously.

In the village we got to try local beers made of Sorghum, maize and honey. We were also explained how the men would have to go through tests of strength by lifting round rocks and throwing them behind their necks to prove that they were ready for marriage. Surprisingly enough I managed to throw the rocks over my shoulders which meant that I too was ready for marriage, but then I was told that I would also need to have some cows and goats to give to the family of my future wife so I guess I will have to wait some more years for that.

Other than the villages, and the farms where we were explained how maize, khat, coffee and chili was produced there was not much to see in Konso, so we were soon on our way to Kay Afar where we would spend the night.