Ethiopian Traditional Cloth Award. Ethiopia’s traditional clothing is made of cotton fabric. Ethiopian men and women wear this traditional costume called Gabi or Netela. Women often wear dresses (kemis) and Netela, with woven colored embroidered crosses on the borders, but other designs are also used. Other ethnic groups and tribes in the south and west of the country wear different costumes that reflect their traditions.
Some tribes cover parts of their bodies in leather, while others wear no clothing at all, merely adorning their faces and bodies with distinctive images. Ethiopia has a diverse ethnic and linguistic background. It is a country of over 80 different ethnic groups, each with its language, culture, customs, and traditions. One of the most important areas of Ethiopian culture is its literature, represented mainly by translations of ancient Greek and Hebrew religious texts into ancient Geez, modern Amharic, and Tigrinya.
Ge’ez is one of the oldest languages in the world and is still used today by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church of Tewahedo. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church of Tewahedo has its practices and traditions influenced by Judaism. The history and culture of the Tigrayan people derive from the traditions and culture of the Kingdom of Aksum, while the history and culture of Amhara derive from Menelik II and Haile his Selassie post his Aksum empire.
The iconic Ethiopian traditional textiles are plain white gauzy hand-woven cloths most commonly referred to as Shamma. These were originally worn only by religious leaders and the upper class and woven by weavers both Muslims and Falashas (Ethiopian Jewish) who lived nomadic lifestyles, traveling between the homes of noblemen on whose verandas they would set up their looms.