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Entries Tagged as 'Amhara'

History of the Amhara people

11,256 Comments · Amhara

According to their traditions they mark out their roots to Menelik I* (the child born of the queen of Sheba and King Solomon).  It is believed that the Sabaean (Sheban) people began to settle on the west coast of the Red Sea, from their home in southern Arabia, about 1000 BC. 

By about 1500 BC their civilization became the Axum Empire, based on an assortment of the Sabaean culture and the Cushitic culture.

Certain Semitic-speaking tribes, particularly the Agazyan, established the Kingdom of Aksum around two 2000 years ago, and this extended to include what is now:

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Derivation of the name Amhara

1,400 Comments · Amhara

The origin of the name “Amhara” is arguable:

• some say it’s derived from the word amari, (meaning pleasing, agreeable, beautiful and gracious) (also mehare, gracious, containing the same m-h-r root as the verb to learn);

• Ethiopian historians such as Getachew Mekonnen Hasen say it is an ethnic name associated with Himyarites;

• Others say that it derives from Ge’ez, meaning “free people” (that is. from “?am” meaning “people,” and “h.ara”, meaning “free” or “soldier”)

In the end, nevertheless, the name for the language and ethnic group come from the medieval province of Amhara, situated in central Ethiopia in modern Amhara Region and the pre-1995 province of Wollo.
Have your say on this debate.

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The Amhara people

10,758 Comments · Amhara


The Amhara people are mostly farmers who live in the north central highlands of Ethiopia. 

The Amhara, numbering about 23 million, making up 30.1% of the country’s population according to the most recent 1994 census, are a Semitic people whose ancestors possibly came from what is modern-day Yemen. 

These people speak Amharic, the working language of the federal authorities of Ethiopia, and dominate the country’s political and economic life for many years.

They are situated mainly in the central highland plateau of Ethiopia and embrace the major population in the provinces of:

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