Marilyn Geary

Journeys Illuminating the Old Ways

Marilyn Geary

2015 Jan Day 14 Arba Minch Morning Dorze


Today we go high up on a mountain to visit a Dorze village. These people have been living here for over 500 years. The land is poor, and the only crop they grow is the false banana. The plant looks like a banana but does not produce fruit. The Dorze use it for food, making a fermented bread from its stalk.



The interior of the stalk is stringy. The women strip the stalk to make a mushy white substance that is left in the ground to ferment for several months. They then make a bread out of the fermented dough.



The Dorze live in beehive huts make of a bamboo base with a false banana cover.


Three beehive huts make up a family compound. One serves as the kitchen, one the living quarters, the last is called the honeymoon hut, where young family members who marry live until they build their own compound. Each family has a few cows that live in the compound with the family.

It was very dark in the beehive hut, but here’s a photo of the sleeping quarters taken with flash. Oddly it did not smell at all in the hut.



The Dorze are also known for their cotton weavings.


The women spin,

the men weave.

While we were in the village, a group of Miami Dolphin cheerleaders were also visiting. There’s a US army group stationed, believe it or not, in one section of our Paradise Lodge. The Dolphin cheerleaders are here in Ethiopia to entertain them. You can’t imagine how this group of little chickies with 3 inch thick makeup on their faces looked in the Dorze Village. I hope the Dolphins are paying for the trip and not our tax dollars.

A couple of the villagers:



The people are very poor and when I gave a woman who had been appealing to me to buy a trinket 2 tshirts, another villager tried to grab one from her. The second woman was quick and vicious, and I was afraid I started a fight, but our driver stepped in and gave each woman a tshirt. I cannot believe how happy and grateful the first woman was just to receive one of my old tshirts. Overwhelming poverty.

We went off to lunch, leaving the Dorze to the next group of tourists.












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