Update, Jan 2003 Naming in Ethiopia, in general, is different from naming in the US.The use of a first name and a family name is unknown in Ethiopia.

Traditionally, American women in the US have changed their family name when they marry.

If a woman remarried several times she might have to change her family name accordingly.

" Now when they have settled in the US, most Ethiopians use their fathers' name as their last name, although some use their grandfathers' name as their last name.

Newer generations now frequently use three names, their first name, father's name as a middle name and the grandfather's name as a last name.

The legal age of marriage in Ethiopia for men and women is 18.

Prior to a law passed in the year 2000, the acceptable age of marriage for rural girls was 12-14 years old, but some would marry as young as age 9.In the mid-1970's, the government of Haile Selassie was overthrown and a repressive regime was established.Recent years have seen internal wars for liberation and ethnic conflicts. The population includes many ethnic groups with nearly 80 languages and approximately 200 dialects. Smaller groups include Afad-Isa, Somali, Wolaita, Sidama, Kimbata and Hadiya.Everyone has his/her own name and also uses his/her father's name, which comes after the personal name.Occasionally, the paternal grandfather's name can be added if needed.This section on Marriage, added September 2008, was written by Alexandra Duncan and Molly Hayden.