Afars, also known as Dankils, live mainly along the south-eastern sea
coast and on the offshore islands in a high-segmented, patrilineal society.
Afars inhabit one of the least hospitable terrains on earth and are
renowned for their prowess in battle. They have a long history of independent
sultanates and strong warrior traditions. Many of their songs and much
of their oral literature is built on this, and it is still common to
see Afar men wearing the jile or curved knife. Today, most are herders,
traders or artisanal fishers.Pastoral
Afar families typically live in large hemispherical house of hides and
woven mats stretched across a framework of wooden poles that can be
carried by camel over long distances. In the few oases in Afar territory,
the people cultivate maize and tobacco. Traders carry slabs of salt
on their camel to the highlands from long-dried salt pans by the sea.