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Terracing and Agroforestry

* The UNESCO recent inscription of the Konso Cultural Landscape into the World Heritage List is the reconnaissance of the value of the Konso traditional techniques of terracing, integrated agroforestry system and specific use of indigenous plants, elements that, together, brought Konso people to install themselves successfully in the semi-arid highlands of Southern Ethiopia. The Konso terracing are the best preserved example of an ancient technique once spread in Eastern Africa from Eritrea to Zimbabwe, but abandoned in the recent past for extensive agriculture and the slow, but steady, global migration of people to lower lands. The Konso terracing multiple functions include: a sophisticated water control, efficient soil conservation and the hosting on terracing of a variety of plants, including woody perennials and herbaceous, that is known as agroforestry.

Konso Cultural Centre

Konso Cultural Centre

GPS Position: N 05, 20.469 E 037, 26.303

Konso Cultural Landscape


National Museum of Ethiopia Addis Abeba 28th November 12 December 2012


Multimedia exhibition Konso Cultural Landscape

* After the successful celebration organized in Konso at the end of April 2012, to celebrate the inscription in the World Heritage, the Konso Cultural Centre took the initiative to propose an exhibition focusing on the Konso Cultural landscape to the National Museum in Addis Ababa. KCC priority is to facilitate the comprehension of the concept of Cultural Landscape itself being the first time for Ethiopia to inscribe a site under such motivation; even if there are dozen sites with the same characteristic at world level, still the concept is quite extraneous to the average public of museums. The cultural landscape definition lays at the intersection(s) between different medium representations; therefore each of the six utilized medium: Photography, Architecture, Painting, Video, Poetry, Music, will concur in enlightening one of its aspects: the whole picture will be constructed by visitors through their sensibility, experiences and interests.

Moringa Stenopetala

Konso Cultural Centre

* On March the 5th, 2011 the Konso Cultural Centre opened to public with a ceremony attended by International guests, Regional authorities and representatives of the local communities. Located in Karat, along the main road from Arba Minch to Jinka, it serves as both a community resource centre and a space to preserve and enhance the history and culture of Konso. The Cultural Centre has a covered surface of more than 500 m2 in a large compound terraced and designed as a demonstration garden where visitors can learn about Konso agriculture skills. The Cultural Centre buildings host a library, internet point, conference hall (30-40 seats) and cinema hall (120 seats); more than 100 m2 are reserved for exhibitions. The commercial aspect of the initiative includes one cafeteria and four shops, allowing SNNPR cooperatives to sell their products rent-free.

Moringa stenopetala is an autochthonous tree from the dry lands of southern Ethiopia. Konso domesticated it into their famous terracing system, because the leaves they daily consume provide them with vitamins A, B and C. The leaves are rich in proteins and minerals like iron, so that their powder is worldwide used as integrator for children under weight and mothers after pregnancy. The Moringa is believed to have a positive effect against high blood pressure and diabetes. The Konso Cultural Centre is actively working to better organize its production, assuring hygienic standards, a fair distribution of profit among the production cooperatives, along with the organization of events to promote the knowledge on the plant and its uses in Ethiopia.