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Halaba People

Modest in their dwellings and habitats of living, the Halaba people, also known as Alaba, are an ethnic group that inhabit the central highlands of Ethiopia. As the birds fly in perfect harmony, so the people of this group exist with a sense of calm and Happiness.

The smiles that light up their darker complexions are bright, warm and welcoming. Quaint round huts of wood and mud with wide conical thatched roofs are homes to these people. With no ceilings and packed-mud floors, these huts lie spread out over a beautiful scenery of wide plains and large stretches of calm waters.

Cacti grow in short crops at intervals alongside tall grasses and shady trees. Interestingly this group of people grow the cacti as fences. A perfect solution for a natural fence that will prick or scrape an intruder. The land, mostly flat and dry with savannah vegetation affords access, just southwest of Addis Ababa by the asphalt Shashemane-Sodo Road. This group leads a quiet life with almost no electricity, cooking on fires lit by firewood and tree leaves, and utilizing the ponds and river waters for their cooking and drinking water. The lands are abundant with Maize, Teff and Red Pepper; the main crops in this region.

Teff, is native to Ethiopia as the staple food crop to millions of people. The Halaba people have one very distinct propensity - to paint all the walls of their houses with a very unique and unmistakable style. The painting and decorating of their homes, on the inside and out, is a well-established tradition. These paintings often describe the tastes of the owner, depicting their life, religion, dreams and desires.