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South & Southwest Tribe

Sidama 

The Sidama people of southern Ethiopia are an ethnic group whose homeland is in the Sidama Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia. Almost three million Sidama live in Ethiopia which is a little over four percent of the country's population. The majority of the Sidama   people are Protestant. They are one of the Cushitic speaking people living in the North Eastern Africa in what is today's south Ethiopia.  Most speak a language called Sidaamu-afoo . The Sidama people share cultural, linguistic, and historical ties with the majority of the people in the Horn of Africa.

Gurage Tribe

The Gurage people make up a little over two and a half percent of Ethiopia's total population. The people inhabit a fertile, Semi-Mountainous region in southwest Ethiopia, about 150 miles southwest of Addis Ababa, bordering the Awash River in the north, the Gibe River (a tributary of the Omo)  to the southwest, and Lake Zway in the east.

The languages spoken by the Gurage are known as the Gurage languages. The variations among these languages are used to group the Gurage people into three dialectically varied subgroups, Northern, Eastern and Western. However, the largest group within the Eastern subgroup, known as the Silt'e, identify foremost as Muslims.  In 2000, the Silt'e, refusing to identify as Gurage, voted overwhelmingly for the establishment of a separate special administrative unit within SNNPR by the EPRDF government. 

Wolayta

Wolayta is the name of an ethnic group and its former kingdom, located in southern Ethiopia.  2.31 percent of the country's population, of whom 289,707 are urban inhabitants.Their language, Wolaytta, belongs to the Omotic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Despite their small population, Wolayta people have widely influenced national music, dance and cuisine in Ethiopia.

More in this category: Afar Tribe of Ethiopia »