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The Somali, also pastoral nomads, forge a living in hot and arid bush country, while the Afar, semi-nomadic pastoralists and fishermen, are the only people who can survive in the hostile environment of the Danakil Depression.
The Tigrigna- and Amharic-speaking people of the north and centre of the country are mainly agriculturalists, tilling the soil with ox-drawn ploughs and growing teff (a local millet), wheat, barley, maize and sorghum.The most southerly of the Semitic speakers, the Gurage, are also farmers and herders, but many are also craftsmen.The Gurage grow enset, 'false banana', whose root, stem and leaf stalks provide a carbohydrate which, after lengthy preparation, can be made into porridge or unleavened bread.The Cushitic Oromo, formerly nomadic pastoralists, are now mainly engaged in agriculture and, in the more arid areas, cattle-breeding.Many distinctions have been blurred by intermarriage over the years but many also remain.The differences may be observed in the number of languages spoken - an astonishing 83, falling into four main language groups: Semitic, Cushitic, Omotic and Nilo-Saharan. Regarding the country’s nations and nationalities, which is estimated to be over 90 million, the number of ethnic Oromo accounts about 34.5 % while Amhara (Amara) is 26.9%, Somali (Somalie) 6.2 %, Tigray (Tigrigna) 6.1%, Sidama 4%, Gurage 2.5%, Welaita 2.3%, Hadiya 1.7%, Afar (Affar) 1.7%, Gamo 1.5%, Gedeo 1.3%, other 11.3% (2007 Census).
The principle Semitic language spoken in the north-western and central part of the country is Amharic, which is also the official language of the modern state.
Other main languages are Tigrigna, Guraginya, Adarinya, Afan Oromo, Somalinya, Sidaminya, Afarinya, Gumuz, Berta and Anuak.
Ethiopia is truly a Land of discovery - brilliant and beautiful, secretive, mysterious and extraordinary.
Above all things, it is a country of great antiquity, with a culture and traditions dating back more than 3,000 years.
The traveler in Ethiopia makes a journey through time, transported by beautiful monuments and the ruins of edifices built long centuries ago.
Ethiopia, like many other African countries, is a multi-ethnic state.