Photographer's Note

Although the village of Chencha is only 37km from Arba Minch it is at a very different elevation, approx 2700m above sea level, so it is cool and wet. The village is home to the Dorze people who, relative to their pasturalist neighbours, are more settled. They are noted for their cotton weaving and pottery expertise, but mainly for their amazing houses.

They are made from bamboo, covered with leaves from the ensete plant. This plant, which you can see cultivated in the centre of this image, is a relative of the banana but the fruit isn't eaten, rather the stems of the leaves are scrapped and pounded to produce a mushy goo, which can them be baked and tastes quite acceptable.

The houses last some time although are attacked by termites. When that happens the affected lower part is cut off, and the house becomes shorter. To start with the distinctive houses can be up to 6m tall.

This group of houses were owned by a young man who said that he was the "king" of his tribe but that that was no longer of significance as the modern world has imposed itself and all that matters now was money.

I chopped the top of the image to lose the blown out late afternoon sky.

f/4.0, 18mm, ISO200, 1/800s

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Additional Photos by Stephen Harnett (SteveH) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 407 W: 101 N: 1287] (8172)
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