Indigenous knowledge, cultural diversity and heritage management in Ethiopia symposium is off to a good second day in the morning having seen two paper presentations of Rock Art Heritage in the vicinity of Dire Dawa, Eastern Ethiopia by Mr. Yenenech Tariku and Features and challenges of Traditional Medicine and ‘Medication in Maale by Mr. Eshetu Ewnetu.

Both these saw well appreciation from audiences as well as with good participation, with important points being raised.


Mr. Tariku, of  Haramaya University,  in his presentation on Rock Art Heritage in the vicinity of Dire Dawa spoke also on cave paintings of camel and other livestock.  The cultural dynamics of rock art could be traced back to pre- historic times   and heritage resources in Dire Dawa range from pre historic rock arts to railway settlements.   This area is classified as  97.73% rural  and 2.27% urban generally and the rock arts cave paintings are integral part of cultural heritage, shed light on cultural aspects of human past and help promote tourism development.  These show how humanity used to live and interact with environment and since 1920 rock art in Ethiopia began to recover.  Mr. Tariku says that there is Ethio- Arabian style to Rock Art and  he showed two specific  sites where he had studied and the animal representation is distinctive generally and these are not properly conserved on the whole.

Mr. Eshetu Ewnetu, in his well presented paper on Features and Challenges of Traditional Medicine and ‘Medication’ in Maale says that societies relied on traditional medicine, officially recognized by WHO in 1978. This term traditional means knowledge handed down from generations to generations and the dependence is very high  This was a ethnographic study, says he, and Maale area consists of 12 villages  where this study was done.  Four specialists were found in traditional medicine  Mr. Ewnetu says and they are: 1. Birth  attendants 2. Traditional doctors 3. Faith healers and lastly 4. the diviners.  He demonstrated the process of making  medicine from plants and showed that color, potency,  good smell, weight of plants and branching pattern all counts in quality of medicine. And, he showed how traditional doctors diagnose various diseases and cure these effectively in detail.

Two more presentations by presenters from  Ministry of Culture and Tourism and by Konso Culture Center Director Enrico Castelli on Konso Cultural Landscape  to the World heritage respectively are to follow.   These will be followed by discussion and a field visit to Gamo Cultural Museum and forty springs and a farewell dinner. The social science division of Arba Minch university has done a good job in hoisting this symposium at its premises generally.