Dasench ethnic group is among the sixteen ethnic groups residing in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of State of Ethiopia. As per the housing consensus, carried out in 1994 EC, the population of the Dasench ethical group was estimated to be 48,067.On top of producing agricultural yields, their life depends on cattle rearing. While we are on the subject, sorghum, maize, haricot bean and what have you are among the main agricultural yields the Dasench ethnic group frequently come up with.
The mother tongue of the Dasench ethical group is “Afa Dasenech.” In fact, some people call the language “Dasench.” There are four types of marriages which take place in the midst of the community namely “Darech” (marriage through family consent) “Serti” ( marriage through abduction), “Ayodi” (marriage through inheritance), “Garu Wolgessa” (marriage through couple's consent).
Mostly, Seriti (marriage through abduction) occurs when the abductor does not have the capacity to give dowry and other related must dos. After the couples get married in the aforesaid way, the conflict which normally attends the marriage would be solved through local elders.
To everyone’s surprise, when the older brother closes his eyes never to open them, the younger one is made to walk down the aisle with his elder brother’s wife.
Also there is a kind of marriage which takes place without prior notice. This kind of marriage is known by the local community as “Ugutuna.”
This time what is expected of the would-be husband is bringing a number of cows, sheep, and goats and keeping them in a barn of the girls’ parents’ home. After he accomplished the mission, he can take the girl straight home. In this fashion, the marriage takes place with no trouble.
In Dasench Ethnic group, when a woman gets in the family way, nobody takes care of her. The pregnant woman does all the preparation until she gives birth. When she gives birth either to a baby boy or a girl, she is taken care of by her mother as well as husband. She is made to eat cooked meat, honey and butter but she is not allowed to eat raw meat as well as drink milk.
There are different types of cultural rituals and celebrations which take place in the Dasench ethnic group.
“Dimi” cultural circumcision is one of them.It is carried out colorfully. As a rule, it is celebrated to let the other segments of the society know that their daughter has reached marriageable age.
Previously, before forbidden,“Dimi” cultural circumcision frequently took place at the time when the girl proved to be between 12-14. The day the “Dimi” celebration falls was proposed either by the girl’s mother or uncle. More often than not, the families who commemorated the “Dimi” dress get attired in different clothing styles. The father puts on “Tele” a gown made of goatskin while the mother is made to wear “Lole Gureza” (a kind of cloths which is made of animal skin.) The girl as well is made to wear “Abune Nasale” (A kind of miniskirt which is made of goatskin).
As the family of the Dasench Ethnical group makes a living out of cattle rearing, they do not have permanent place to live and thus they build temporary houses wherever they go hunting for water and grasses for their cattle.
Women are responsible for building houses in a group no matter what the cost may be. It does not take more than an hour either to demolish or build the temporary houses. Among the cultural foods, the community dines most on porridge, kukufa . kukufa is almost their stable food .
Concerning the cultural dressing style, girls above five put on various clothes made of hides and skins. Apart from wearing beads, they put on different types of necklaces,bracelets and anklets made of metals. The metal anklets they wear around their legs give music and color to their dance. Additionally, when they get married, they wear a cloth named Ogo, a type of traditional cloth.
When a boy becomes seven or ten, he is made to wear his father’s old clothes. But if extra clothes are not found, the boy is made to go naked. When he comes of age, he is made to dress clothes made of hides and skins. For this purpose he goes hunting. Grown ups as well wear different types of clothes. They as well prepare a wooden stool called “Berkota” which as well serves as a pillow. Furthermore, they adorn themselves with different decorations made of beads and metals around their heads, legs and necks.
By the same token, Dasench ethnic group's mourning system varies based on age, sex and cultural activities. When a child departs this life, his parents cry their eyes out. After that, they slaughter either a sheep or a goat and wrap the body with the skin. Lastly, the body will be committed to the ground around the backyard of the child’s house. However, except the child’s parents mourners are allowed to eat the sheep’s or the goat’s meat. The latter ones can eat to their hearts' content.
On the other hand, when an old woman kicks the bucket, her body is wrapped with a skin and buried in the backyard of her own compound. In addition to this, that same day, the roof of the residential house of the old woman is demolished around 6:00 PM. And the scrap is made to rest on the tomb of the old woman.
Similarly, when an old man departs this life, a heifer is slaughtered and its fat is put around the neck of the body after a short time. After they smeared the corpse with butter, they end up burying the corpse in a barn. The property of the dead man is distributed among his friends. After the funeral ceremony, the family members demolish their residential house and desert the area almost immediately.
BY ADDISALEM MULAT