Ethiopians are justifiably proud of the range of their traditional costumes. The most obvious identification of the different groups is in the jeweler, the hairstyles and the embroidery of the dresses. The women of Amhara and Tigray wear dozens of plaits (sheruba) tightly braided to the head and billowing out at the shoulders. The women of Harar part their hair in the middle and make a bun behind each ear. Hamer, Geleb, Bume and Karo men form a ridge of plaited hair and clay to hold their feathered headwear in place. Arsi women have fringes and short, bobbed hair. Bale girls have the same, but cover it with a black head cloth, while young children often have their heads shaved.
Both Muslims and Christians wear jewellery in silver and gold, often with amber or glass beads incorporated. Heavy brass, copper and ivory bracelets and anklets are also worn.
"Ethiopia ‘has ensured that its culture has remained remarkably intact, unpolluted and undiluted by outside influence. The country retains its own particular language and script, its own food and drink, its own church and saints, even its own calendar and clock. Endlessly fascinating, it defies any categorization and generalization; Ethiopia is like no other country in Africa". Frances Linzee Gordon - a Scottish author