Konso is located about 595 km south west of Addis Ababa. It is located 362km south from Awassa, capital of Ethiopia’s southern region. Konso is inhabited by people who speak one of the eastern Cushitic languages of Ethiopia.

Konso’s altitude lies between1800 – 2000m where as the climatic condition is warm with mean annual temperature varying 16celcius in winter and 30ce in summer. The mean annual rain fall falls on 954mm.

Agriculture is the basis of Konso’s economic activity. The people of Konso are admired for their amazing stone terracing and soil conservation tradition.

Terraces, landscape, traditional walled villages and other social values and traditional leadership, waka etc are cultural materials contributed to the importance of the Konso area as an important cultural landscape meriting a place on world heritage list.

In accordance with the agreement reached by the general assembly of the UNESCO held in Paris in 2011, Konso cultural landscape registered as the 9th world heritage site of Ethiopia.

The people of Konso are well known for various kinds of handcrafts. The basic ones are smith, weaving, pottery and tanning. The stone walled village /qorima, paleta/ the Konso built their traditional villages in the point of their homeland.

Traditional villages are surrounded by multiple rounds of dry stone walls for the purpose of defense mechanism during wars of rival neighbors many years ago.

There are sites of political negotiations, administration of justice, rites of passage, sacrifices, and victory or harvest ceremonies. They are also places for playing, dancing and chatting. Their size and contents vary considerably depending on their function.

The mora, public place – Each walled village posses several public places, mora of different types and sections, some belongs to the whole village, while others belong to only one ward, mora plays a vital role in the lives of the people.

Men’s house – There is a men’s house in every mora. As the Konso age grading traditional system obliges active men in the responsible age group are not permitted to sleep in their private house. Especially built houses called ‘pafta’ are constructed for them.

This system is designed to facilitate a rapid mobilization of all active men in the responsible age group against any possible danger such as fire and aggression. It is also the responsibility of these groups to keep the traditional stone walls.

Manhood stones Manhood stones commemorate the victories of former generations and villages.

Generation pole– Generation pole in small fields in front of  moras are erected long dry woods usually junipers which cut from the poqolla’s or clan chief’s forest called “Olahita’. These are generation memorials erected every 18 years when a new generation takes place.

Swearing stone – erected in the swearing mora of each village. Accused individuals are expected to swear on these stones to prove their innocence.

Waka , wooden statue – Traditionally a waka will be erected above the grave of important Konso men. It will especially be erected above the grave of heroes and clan chief. People who have killed an enemy or one of the great animals like lion or a leopard or buffalo are regarded as heroes by the Konso people.

Newyork /gessrgio/ – Very interesting and the most natural attraction site in Konso. This is located in gesergio one of Konso villages about 17km from karat town. It will be mostly related to that of modern architectural buildings of USA, New York city.

Paleo anthropological sites – The Konso Paleo anthropological sites are very important sources of information about human biological and cultural evolution.

Come, experience and learn about this great people whose efforts are very well recognized by UNESCO and listed among the world heritage sites.

Eskinder Hailu - Manager, Highway Tours

Eskinder Hailu
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