Bulletin · June 2010 · Wolaitta (Ethiopia)

The Wolaittas, who are they?

The Wolaittas, consisting of about 1,760,000 people, are natives of Ethiopia who have their own language,  culture, tradition, political heritage, and kingdom. They are divided into two tribes that represent about 200  clans! They live in the south-western region of Ethiopia, 400 kilometers away from Addis Ababa, the capital  city. They survive thanks to cattle rearing and farming, and they still use traditional hand tools. Their cultivable land being degraded through natural and human factors, 45% of the Wolaittas suffer malnutrition and live below the poverty line. The annual average income per inhabitant is 98 US dollars.

At the end of the 19th century, Ethiopia annexed the Wolaitta and imposed the Orthodox religion, which is now strongly influenced by animism. Today, the Wolaittas are open to the Gospel, but they need to fight against the invasion of the drifts of a worldly mindset on one hand, and of Islam on the other hand.

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