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Ethiopia, like other African countries, particularly south of the Sahara, is a multi-ethnic state, inhabited by eighty-three ethnic groups, identified in the main by the number of languages (including about 200 dialects). But there are also overlaps of cultural and religious values among different ethnic groups.

The ethnic groups inhabiting Ethiopia (which, in some areas, overflow into the borders of Kenya in the south, the Sudan in the west, Djibouti in the east, Somalia in the east and southeast and, now, Eritrea in the north and northeast) can be classified, following the linguistic pattern, into four main groups: Semitic, Cushitic, Omotic, and Nilo-Saharan.



Nilo-Saharan
Written by Agaredech Jemaneh   
Image here:Mursi Women

The Nilo-Saharan groups are, to some extent, agriculturalists.


Tags:  Ethiopia Nilo-Saharan Ethnic
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Omotic
Written by Agaredech Jemaneh   
Image here:Ethiopian farmer

The Omotic speakers were traditionally organized into small kingdoms, notably those of Kaffa and Janjero.


Tags:  Ethiopia Nilo-Saharan Culture Ethnic
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Cushitic
Written by Agaredech Jemaneh   
Image here:Traditional dance: Oromo

Oromo being the most numerous among cushitic groups and in Ethiopia as whole, Somali, Sidama and Afar are other members of the cushtic group. Majority of them practice agriculture, but we have cattle breeders and pastorialists too.


Tags:  Ethiopia Cushitic culture Ethnic
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Semitic
Written by Agaredech Jemaneh   
Image here:Typical male dress

Based on our earlier classification, the Semitic family is constituted by the Tigreans and Amharas in the northern and central parts of the country, respectively, and the Gurage and the Harari in the southern and eastern parts of the country, respectively, and practice mainly agriculture.


Tags:  Ethiopia Semitic culture Ethnic
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