• Registration Year


  • Registered Sector

    Konso Cultural Landscape

Location and site

Registration Criteria

Criterion (iii): The Konso Cultural Landscape integrates spectacularly executed dry stone terrace works, which are still actively used by the Konso people, who created them. They bear testimony to the enormous efforts required to use the otherwise hostile environment in an area that covers over 230 square km, an effort which stands as an example of major human achievement.The association between these stone terraces and the fortified towns in their midst are features of an exceptional cultural landscape, which also bears testimony toa living tradition of stele erection. The Konso erect stone steles to commemorate and mark the transfer of responsibility from the older generation to the younger. Konso are among the last stele-erecting people and thus their continuous practice presents an exceptional testimony to an ongoing cultural tradition.

Criterion (v): The relation of the stone terraces and the fortified towns of Konso Cultural Landscape, and its highly organized social system, illustrates an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement and land-use, based on common values that have resulted in the creation of the Konso cultural and socio-economic fabric.The dry stone terraces show a sophisticated adaptive strategy to the environment and the labor needed to construct these terraces necessitated a strong cohesion and unified bond among the clans. This interaction with the environment is based on indigenous engineering knowledge and requires traditional work divisions, which are still utilized to consistently perform maintenance and conservation works.

Historical Reference

Konso Cultural Landscape is a 55km2 arid property of stone walled terraces and fortified settlements in the Konso highlands of Ethiopia. It constitutes a spectacular example of a living cultural tradition stretching back 21 generations (more than 400 years) adapted to its dry hostile environment. The landscape demonstrates the shared values, social cohesion and engineering knowledge of its communities. The site also features anthropomorphic wooden statues - grouped to represent respected members of their communities and particularly heroic events - which are an exceptional living testimony to funerary traditions that are on the verge of disappearing. Stone steles in the towns express a complex system of marking the passing of generations of leaders.

Mr. Feleke Bogale
Karat City administration
Karat Postal Office number 14
Karat City, Konso Zone, Ethiopia
+251-467 730 003