Derashe People

April 23, 2016

The Dirasha live on the mountains south of Chamo lake in South Ethiopia (5″30´north latitude, 37″30´East longitude). An ancient  town of Gardulla established half century ago  is at the area’s highest elevation, 2,561 meters, and used to be the area’s administrative center. Currently the Gidole town,.which is at an elevation of 2,100 meters serves as Adminstrative and cultural  capital of the different nationalities living in the Derashe Special  Woreda
The Derashe Special Woreda has a total population of 142, 678 according to 2008 cunsus,  having five major ethnic groups (Derashe (largest population), Mashole, Mosiye, Kusume and Ale (Debose)..
 Most of the people are farmers, using hillside terraces for soil and water conservation. The Dirasha also cultivate the lowlands to the south and east of mountains. The main staple food is sorghum,. Also teff, maize, barley, oats, ensete, beans the and peas, along with vegetables and fruit (banana, lime) are grown in the area.
 Cattle, goats and sheep are kept for meat; beehives for honey.
The local farmers have adopted  knowledge of preserving surplus grain up to ten years safely. Polota is air tightened  flask shaped  underground space which   farmer uses  to store surplus sorgom during a good Harvesting year. So that the grain can be  kept protected from insect , rate and fire.
The people call themselves Dirasha, live in Dirashe and speak Diraytta cushetic family . For outsiders, they are known as Gidole people.

 The derashe ethnic group have nine clans believed to have come from Borena, Liben and Gowanda. The clans in Derashe are Kolayat Argamayita, Elayta, Malet, Kansit, Kalayt, Karit, Karchit and Keetay.These clans used to count their line of descent from the same father and do not usually marry within their clan members.

In Derashe, there had been a traditional leader called Dama from Titipa family, who used to control and govern the religious and administrative activities. Succession to the throne was based on lineage (blood relationship)  which is not functional any more.
  The derashe people are very famous inventing unique mucic called FLUTE ESENBLE:  it is a  cultural orchestra Composed of 20 to36 musicians who each play about 6 inch aflute made of bamboo that produces a single sound, and accompanied by several dancers, the Gidole people sing and dance in a circle as they reenact past experiences.  They Sing mainly about harvesting, plowing, and “shilota” festival of the harvest, they move freely as While they play. the sound of 36 instruments produces a sound Similar to electronic Music the Gidole music is a blend of human interaction at its zenith.


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