Ethiopian Cultural Resources

Like many other African cultures, Ethiopian society and lifestyle is strongly defined by its culture. Ethiopian culture includes characteristic foods, clothing, music, dancing, mannerisms, etc. I’ve collected a list of resources that give light into both traditional and modern Ethiopian customs.


This is a food blog created by a world traveler/foodie! He includes crucial informative topics on Ethiopian food, like, how to eat it, what spices are typically used, and 10 popular dishes. Coming from an avid Ethiopian food eater, this site gives some pretty good information, but I would have chosen a few different dishes for the top 10 list.

Coffee: Coffee has an extremely important cultural role. It is typically expected of someone to have a ceremony when inviting family or friends over for coffee and/or food.

This page provides an in depth description for what a typical coffee ceremony entails, including, the length of time it takes, a description of who is conducting the ceremony, and how it is conducted. There also images within the page for visual insight.

Both of these sources provide information into the history of Ethiopian produced coffee beans. There is mention of the traditional story of how coffee beans were found, the types of beans grown in Ethiopia, and how they are cultivated. There is various types of Ethiopian coffee, each flavor profile defined by the region grown in. These pages can help you select your preferred type of coffee for next time you’re buying at the grocery store, as well as recognize if you’re buying coffee that is benefiting the true grower/farmer.
This website provides a brief overview of traditional Ethiopian clothing, although not in an in depth form. This source would be useful for someone’s who’s looking for a quick intro to what traditional clothing entails and when it’s worn.
Music/Dance: Ethiopian music and dance are inevitably paired together. Ethiopian music has numerous genres, but in my opinion all styles of music can be paired with Eskista. Eskista is Ethiopia’s most popular dance that entails “intense shoulder movements.” The dance is quite fun and can be performed by anyone.


Fendika is a popular Ethiopian music group that is known for their music and dance performances, as well as providing educational opportunities in Ethiopian music and dance and supporting Ethiopian children through educational resources. This video shows their performance at the National Museum of African Art in 2013.
This music video has some pretty advanced Eskista going on!
Humor: I’m including a few humorous twitter pages to give readers insight on relatable situations that Ethiopian diaspora experience.
“The Runaway Injera”
While this book is a children’s book, it can appeal to all readers interested in Ethiopian culture. The book is written in both English and Amharic which gives a reader the opportunity to become more familiar with Amharic. Additionally, because the book is a play on a popular American folktale, having an Ethiopian version of the story provides great insight into the culture.
“Modernist Art in Ethiopia”
This book provides a glimpse into how Ethiopian art has been influenced by Ethiopia’s changes and developments in politics. Because art plays such a significant role in Ethiopian culture, a reader will be able to gain somewhat of an understanding of its importance.

Collective Resource:

This page provides an all encompassing view for Ethiopian culture touching on, music, dance, style, language, etc! I would share this with any individual who is looking for either brief or in depth information on Ethiopia.




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Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages Copyright © by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.