KONSO THE WALLED CITY
KONSO IS THE NAME OF the nationality and the special woreda, konso special woreda. Konso special woreda has an area of 2354m2. Derashe special woreda borders this special wored in the north, amarro special woreda in north east, burji special woreda in east oromia state, in south and debub omo zone in west.
The country of konso is dry and ruggedly mountanious.short age of rainfall water and dry barren land in konso makes life very much challenging.
Karat- CAPITAL TOWN OF KONSO
KARAT- IS located 361km southwest of Awassa through Shashemene-Arbaminch road and about 320 km through Dilla-Keele- Soyama road. It is also 90km west of yabello, which is found on the main Awassa-Moyale international road. Karat had a population of 2737 in (BOPED, 1998:167). Karat has a semi-automatic and pay station telephone, a sub-post office, electric supply from diesel generator, a gas station, daily bus services from arbaminch, potable water, some good local hotels, restaurants, shops, a health center and a clinic.
Population, language and ethnic group
Konso special woreda had a population of 212192 in 1997 E.C.
Economy and livelihood
As environmental contribution the Knosos were cultivators’ to live in the dry and barren environment successfully .conscious of their environment, diligence, a highly developed terraces agriculture and traditional soil conservation system, an effective traditional water and moisture system. The amazing indigenous knowledge of managing natural resources have been virtues of these people to live in this kind of harsh environment. Thus, the social organization, the settlement System and the work culture are intricately related with the natural environmentIn any case, after emigration to the present day Konso country each clan, led by its tribal leaders, started dispersed settelments.eventually; however, they started to construct the walled towns that are intact and functional. the walled town settlement, the former clan leaders lost their tribal leadership to new town councils that took over major part of justice system administration from the former clan leaders (Otto, 1994:85) these separate walled towns are independent and often fought with each other overland. Though there w ere some dominant leaders over walled towns, each towns loyalty was mostly to its towns council.
Generally , Konso walled towns remained independent from each other until Konso was incorporated into the Ethiopian Empire in 1897.
Culture and cultural landscape
The natural landscape of Konso is highly modified by human hands and culture. The country of konso is dry, rocky and its fertile soil is very thin. To prevent the fertile soil from erosion a highly developed traditional terrace system is shoveled to the side’s of terraces to form a middle basin where water is collected. Cereals and plants that need moisture throughout the year are planted in these basins. On the other hand, cereals and plants that needs small water planted or sown on the sides of basins. Coffee, chat etc, that need moisture and water planted under the terraces. More open fields without terraces are allowed to fallow from two or three years.alternatively,leguminous plants like pigeon pea are planted in the fallow to regain the fertility of the soil, in addition, halaka trees and other non edible indigenous trees used for fuel and construction are planted here and in the farm plots.
Here and there Konso there are traditionally kept forest , clan heads, called polowland, own these patches of scared forest. No one cut trees from this forest without the permission of the leaders. Often for individual or communal purpose with permission, general speaking Konso landscape shows man and nature interaction.
Walled town settlements
They usually lived in stone walled towns, which according to the survey made in 2000 reaches 49.out of these 42 walled towns are inhabited whereas 7 are abandoned. The circumference of each walled town varies from 1720m to 170m.the towns has 0ne to eight concentric, semi-lunate or straight walls. The central walls are mostly taller than the second, the third or the fourth outer walls (Awoke, 2004).
The walls are made of big rocks interspersed with smaller rocks to make the walls more stable. Each wall usually. Have a limited number of gates generally; the central walls have more gets than the outer walls. to spill rain water out of the walled towns and to decrease pressure on the walls, small openings are occasion sally made under the walls.
Formerly the gates of the outer walls were closed at night with big logs to prevent an enemy or wild animals in to the walled towns. Each path from the gate leaders to public gathering places called moora.each walled town has ward divisions called kanta.on the other hand each individual’s homestead has separate compound fenced with big logs. and the houses in the walled towns are extremely close to each other.
- Haaksen – The Walled Town (valleyoftheoldones.blogspot.com)
- Historic town walls crumbling ‘because of climate change’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List (ethiopeaceforum.wordpress.com)
- The Magic of Northern Mallorca (onthebeach.co.uk)
- Amara West 2013: a kaleidoscope of life and death in Egyptian Kush (britishmuseum.org)
- The Art of Urban Decay | Eroded Bags by Yusuke Kagari (spoon-tamago.com