Ethnic Karo woman from Omo River Valley area in Ethiopia braiding her daughters hair into a unique style for a marriage ceremony. The Karo, also known as Kara are a small tribe with an estimated population between 1,000 and 3,000. They are closely related to the Kwegu tribe. They live along the east banks of the Omo River in southern Ethiopia.They are surrounded by relatively wealthy and strong groups, in terms of cattle and population size. Karo, whose neighbors especially the Hamar (to the South East ) ,Bana (to the east ),Bashada (to the East ), the Mursi (to the North)and Nyangatom (to the west across the Omo river ) know them by the name Kara, speak a south Omotic language.
The main subsistence crops of the Karo are sorghum ,maize and beans .They are also supplemented by bee-keeping and more recently fishing. They plant fields using rain, flood retreat and river bank cultivation but the most important source of grain production is river bank farming than the other two which is carried out both along omo river and on the shores of Lake Diba.
The Karo used to have big ,magnificent houses when they were rich in cattle but after they have lost their wealth through tsese fly they adopted the much lighter conical huts of the Bume.
BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah