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Gidole is a town in southern Ethiopia, and is the administrative center of the Dirashe special woreda. Located in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region, it sits at a latitude and longitude of 05°39′N 37°22′E / 5.650°N 37.367°E / 5.650; 37.367Coordinates: 05°39′N 37°22′E / 5.650°N 37.367°E / 5.650; 37.367 with an elevation ranging from 2045 to 2650 meters above sea level. The town is named after the Gidole or Gardulla people, an ethnic group inhabiting southern Ethiopia better known as the Dirashe.[1]

Currently 9 different ethnic groups live in Gidole and 5 different languages are being spoken:[2] “derashegna”, “busigna”, “masholo”,”kusicho(Gatogna)” and “werozigna”. They use different musical instruments for their casual holiday celebrations. “Kirar”, “mira”,”kultato(Washint)”,”phila” and “lolata are among many.


According to Oscar Rudolph Neumann, who visited the town in 1902, Gidole was the seat of the queen of the Dirashe until the Ethiopians under Menelik II conquered them; the woman was still alive at the time of Neumann's visit.[3]

During the Italian occupation, the occupiers opened a post office in Gidole on either 11 or 17 November 1937; the sources are unclear about the exact date.[1]

In the 1950s, Gidole was the administrative center of one of the provinces, Gemu Gofa Teklay Gizat, which was later incorporated to create Gamu-Gofa province. During the next decade, Islam won converts in the area and a mosque was built in the town. At the same time, Borana caravans supplied the market in Gidole with salt.[1]


Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, Gidole has an estimated total population of 14,799 of whom 7,107 were men and 7,692 women.[4] The 1994 national census reported this town had a total population of 8,167 of whom 3,935 were men and 4,232 women.


  1. ^ a b c "Local History in Ethiopia" Archived 2011-05-28 at the Wayback Machine (pdf) The Nordic Africa Institute website (accessed 13 December 2007)
  2. ^ Emiru Mulatu (resident in Gidole)
  3. ^ Oscar Neumann, "From the Somali Coast through Southern Ethiopian to the Sudan", Geographical Journal, 20 (October 1902), pp. 373-398
  4. ^ CSA 2005 National Statistics Archived November 23, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, Table B.4