Aside from the dramatic views back to the rift valley lakes near Arbaminch, Chencha is of interest to travelers as the home for the Dorze people, renowned cotton weavers whose tall beehive shaped dwellings are among the most distinctive traditional structures to be seen anywhere in Africa .
The main occupation of the region is subsistence farming and weaving, every Dorze compound surrounded by a smallholding of tobacco, enset and other crops and contains at least one loom which is constantly worked by one or other member of the family.It is, above all, the unique Dorze houses that make Chencha worth a diversion.
These remarkable extended domes measures up to 6 meter, and are entirely made from organic material. Most Dorze houses also have a low frontal extension, used as a reception area. The spacious interior of the huts is centered on a large fire place, used for cooking and to generate heat, and different areas are set apart for sleeping and for smaller livestock. Dorze dwellings are enduring structures, and one hut will generally serve a married couple for a lifetime-when the base of the hut becomes infested by termites or starts to rot, the entire structure can be lifted up and relocated to a close by site.
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