By Diana:  The fascinating customs and lifestyles of tribal people in southern Ethiopia were the subject of an illustrated talk by Pat Alker to Glossopdale WI. Pat has travelled round Ethiopia many times as part of her support for Dukem school.  Pictures and artefacts from the area showed immense variation between the tribes, their buildings, clothing and how tasks were divided between men, women and children.  The women of the semi-nomadic Dasanej build demountable tukuls (huts) whereas the Dorzi grow crops, weave colourful wool and cotton garments and the men weave their tukuls from thatch, some to a height of 35 feet.  The Hamer retain initiation ceremonies for their young men, including a bull-jumping test and three months lone survival in the bush. Most tribes follow an animist religion – Islam and Christianity are more common in the north.  Despite Ethiopia’s current poverty, national and local government are making headway with primary schools (including English classes) and water supplies.  It was a fascinating but salutary reminder of how much we take these facilities for granted.

Glossopdale WI’s next meeting is on April 17 at 9.30am in Glossop Labour Club, when Keith Vigur will be speaking on ‘Secret Shopper’.  Visitors are very welcome.