Introducing Ethiopian folk dance

Ethiopia has over 80 ethnic groups in the country, and each group has a very unique step and rhythm.
Due to its old history, one that dates back to 3000 years, Ethiopia's folk dance is a symbol of their mosaic culture.
Dancing is an integrated part of life for Ethiopian's and they love dancing.
Let's enjoy and experience the Ethiopian folk dance!!


●Dance of Tigray People


The dance of Tigray region is characterized by two-beat drum rhymes. According to the distinctive drum rhymes, they dance in a circle like Japanese bon dance. It also has different variety of steps, such as delicate neck motion, rhythmical shoulder movement, jumping steps, and so on.

●Dance of Amhara People


The dance of people in Amhara region (Northern Ethiopia) is called “Eskesta” which has unique movement of neck, shoulder and chest. There are several variations of motion and steps according to areas such as Gondar, Gojjam, and Wollo.

●Dance of Somali People


In eastern Ethiopia, people living near the border to Somalia are Muslims. Women’s dance style, dancing with their hair covered with scarf, emphasizes their beauty that modest women have. Men dance to drum rhythm with masculine but elegant steps. Women dance with spreading their long skirts like butterfly. It is a very beautiful dance.

●Dance of Oromia People


Oromiya region is the largest and their dance styles are different depending on places. Some of famous dances are “Shoa Oromo” and “Halar Oromo”. Especially, Shoa Oromo dance has unique costume as well as steps. Women wear leather-made wild two-piece costume decorated with shells. Men wear fur skin like lion’s mane on the head and use stick for dance. What is most surprising is women’s very fast and sharp neck motion. You never forget it once you watch it!

●Dance of Gurage People


The Grage area is about 100Km Southwest from the capital city Addis Ababa. Gurage people are famous for hard working, and their dancing style brings such an image of hard working people. Differing from other dances, women dance with pants and they cover their hair with scarf for preparing for the fast tempo dance. According to up beat music both women and men keep steps first without rest like a marathon runner.

●Dance of Walyta People


Walyta people living in Southern Ethiopia dance with distinctive movement of waist. Compared to the Northern Ethiopian dances like Amhara, which mainly require to move upper body (e.g. neck, shoulder, chest), the further people go to Southern Ethiopian, the more movement of lower body their dances require.

●Dance of Gambella People


Gambella region is located in the western part of Ethiopia close to the Sudanese border.
The people living in this region are slim and tall with looks that differ from other parts of
the country.
The dance of Gambella is characterized by the agile spin of the waist. The women dance while hurling a fringe decorated with cowrie. They dance using their entire body while playing the instrument(fringe) which makes a special type of sound.