Ethiopia Tribe

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History of Oromo people

291 Comments · Oromo

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The Oromo are a native African ethnic group found in Ethiopia and to a smaller extent in Kenya. They are the largest single ethnic group in Ethiopia, at 32.1% of the population according to the 1994 census, and today numbering around 40 million.

The Oromo are one of the Cushitic speaking people living in Eastern and North Eastern Africa. Cushitic speakers have occupied parts of north-eastern and eastern Africa for as long as recorded history.

Oromo people are found mainly in Ethiopia (99%), but are spread from as far as:

• Northern Ethiopia (southern Tigray Region)
• Kenya (mainly northern) 
• Even as far south as Lamu Island

The Oromo characterize one of largest of the Cushitic groups occupying the Horn of Africa. Their physical features, culture, language and other confirm clearly the fact that they are native to this part of Africa.

Existing information indicates that the Oromo lived as a community of people for thousands of years in East Africa (Prouty at al, 1981).

Bates (1979) asserts, “The Gallas (Oromo) were a very ancient race, the indigenous stock, possibly, on which most other peoples in this part of eastern Africa have been grafted”.

It is possible that they have existed for a longer period of time side by side with their northern Semitic-speaking neighbors.

During the 16th century, following the wars between the kingdom of Ethiopia and the neighboring Sultanate of Adal, which resulted in the exhaustion of both states, Oromos moved north into their territories.

The Ethiopian monk Bahrey, writing in 1593, credited the Oromo achievement to the existence of too many non-fighting classes in the ruling Ethiopian hierarchy, as opposed to the Oromos, whom he illustrated as having a homogeneous warrior class.

He also affirmed their spread (as result of their inhospitable homeland) into northwestern areas such as:

• Arsi
• Shewa
• Welega
• Gojjam 
• Hararghe
• Wollo

Harold G. Marcus hints northwest Borena as the original homeland of the Oromo. Settled Oromo began to integrate with their Amharic-speaking neighbors at least from the 17th century on.

Several Oromo chieftains gained power in government of the monarchy. Particularly Emperor Iyoas I (1730-55), who was half Oromo, favored his mother’s Oromo kinsmen and allies, and in his era, the Oromo language was the language of the court in Gondar.

By the late 18th century, the influence of the central government of Ethiopia had declined, and local governors and kings enjoyed greater autonomy.

During the era of Zemene Mesafint (which lasted until 1855), the Oromo dynasty of chiefs of Yejju were the most important uninterrupted line of warlords to dominate the figurehead emperors of Ethiopia.

They turn out to be sub-kings of Begemder, Regents of the empire, as well as imperial father-in-laws. Ras Ali I of Yejju attained this dominance in 1779, and it continued, although contested by other warlords, until the 1855 defeat of Ras Ali II of Yejju by the upstart Kassa Hailu (who became Emperor Tewodros II).

Due to the powerlessness of the Emperor of Ethiopia during the Zemene Mesafint, the Yejju Oromo were successfully the rulers of Ethiopia. Other tribes and chiefs of the Oromo people were also famous, such as:

• Lady Menen of Wollo who became Empress in 1800s
• Ras Mohammad of Wollo who became Ras Mikael, later Negus of Siyon and father of Emperor Iyasu V
• Menen, of Ambassel, who became Empress Consort of Haile Selassie

Feel free to forward your comment on the history of this prominent tribe in Ethiopia.

Keywords: Cushitic speakers, Oromo, Lamu Island, Gallas, Arsi, Shewa, Welega, Gojjam, Hararghe, Wollo, Yejju, Oromo dynasty, Begemder,

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291 Comments so far ↓

  • helendiva

    Currently the entire Ethiopia is in the hands of EPRDF, which is dominantly run by non Amhara people.But you are still barking at Amharas.What is your reason, Godol and friends can u answer me.In addition I can’t wait to see an Ethiopia independent from oromo and others.Menelik did a big mistakes when he incorporated you in to Ethiopia.You spoiled our blood.Bastard niggers.How can a chimpanze speak this way? who do you think you are? Really that goddamn priest was right when he told me tha Gallas always remain Gallas.You are nothing more than galla.U may know how to fight as u r educated by our forefathers but we know how to make war.When you try you nonesense sheet we will wipe you gallas out!

  • Arba Minch University

    Hello to Oromos brothers and sisters who can access this site. There a number of Oromias enemies within Ethiopia who try from day to day to dismantle our Language, culture, unity and even our resources BE TAKE CARE THIS FUCKING NATION ESPECIALLY AMHARA WHO IS HAVING NO FOOD TO EAT!!

  • motuma tulu

    just we have to proud by our ancestars who fight their enemy and broken their bone ,transfer oromiyaa land but to day opdo started give oromiyaa land for yestarday enemy eg.finfinnee the orogin of oromo the history will ask you ??????????????????????????????

  • motuma tulu

    just we have to proud by our ancestars who fight their enemy and broken their bone ,transfer oromiyaa land but to day opdo started give oromiyaa land for yestarday enemy eg.finfinnee the orogin of oromo . the history will ask you ??????????????????????????????

  • Lammi

    We oromo people do not show off our history but it is really interesting and masked by those “stuped” neighboring . any way please think neutrally.

  • Edossa

    Oromo studant arrest in Bhar Dare; off from arresting. This is great felarity of Amara People Democrase Movimant teach them up to techinology use and influence geting target host or peoples. Teach them this Habesha group.

  • Edossa

    Oromo studant arrest in Bhar Dare; off from arresting. This is great felarity of Amara People Democrase Movimant teach them up to techinology use and influence geting target host or peoples. Teach them this Habesha group internationally.

  • Edossa

    1,\*Indepandant*/
    2,\*Oromo studant arrest in Bhar Dare; off from arresting. This is great felarity of Amara People Democrase Movimant up to there proffeser. Teach them up to techinology use and influence geting target host or peoples. Teach them this Habesha group internationally.*/
    3,\*star acadamy*/

  • Edossa

    1,\*i*/
    2,\*Indepandant*/
    3,\*Oromo studant arrest in Bhar Dare; off from arresting. This is great felarity of Amara People Democrase Movimant up to there proffeser. Teach them up to techinology use and influence geting target host or peoples. Teach them this Habesha group internationally.*/
    4,\*star acadamy*/

  • Abdurahman Oromiya

    When tigray and amhara people go to western country they obey the law cause its not there country but why do they come to Oromo people country and don’t want to obey the law instead they want to kill us and take over our land.
    Why Why Why tigray and amhara people why u dont like oromo people Assholes.

    but INSHA’ALLAH and GOD WILLING freedom and right to oromo people will come one day.Even if haters tigray and amhara don’t want that for Us.

  • gamachis

    hi sisters and brothers i have read all the comments given above and i have noticed one thing all of us need to be free but freedom can not be came with out unity first lets all oromo people be one , we shouldn’t have to be different one from the other ideologically ,we speak one language so lets stand for one thing…
    GOD BLESS OROMIA!!!

  • gadaan

    i am happy to somebodyś words but…………………….to others.
    i´ll come latter.

    10 4 all.

  • S A

    Thanks alot specially Gondol I appriciated for ur idea keep writing me all the time this is how we know our selves & weake up for our future generation see u soon bye bye.

  • Unkown

    now a day oromo people was the people who understand their language, culture and their dignity.this is not only the significant one. knowing the past history of his back father and mother is the great.knowing the genius people who was arrested on the different battle is the great.
    KEY WORD:.the past is already passed.the history of those arrested people askes you. sorry Habesha people.
    Q1. for all peoples of oromo.
    #.Today is the day in which you focus on your future target.w..ow ,what is your plan my people?. the human power who was on education was as you see. what is your option ,what is your role, what is your integration?. what about the transformation of Ethiopia?.
    #2 .why we live?.for die,for eat, for having good name, for destroying the natural environment, to create the famous history for your next generation,select the one which regards you and concentrate your mind on your selection and why you select. my oromo think again .

  • Bayissa milkessa

    as an Ethiopian,we do not insult each other;we gain nothing from it.as one of oromo man i do have vision and dream that I can not imagin the persistence of ethiopia independent of oromia.yet i do have a dream of better future for oromos if we look forward to a better future;I do have a dream that oromo is heading toward a better and a brightier future.We need to recognize. Or else you are alweys found to be looking the darkside of things rather than light GOD brought forward form darkness.The more we advance the more our contender try to stop us.it is the natural growth patter.At this Jucture it is better to dream forward than backward.In general oromo is heading toward a better and brightier future.

  • Merenptah Asante

    What poem have you ever written to stir the hearts of men to love one another? What song have you ever sung that will make men cry and women give themselves to you? Lift me up Oh my love’; let me rise to a bright new morning. What thoughts have you ever sprung other than to call each other bastards and niggers? Africa unite!

  • unknown

    “Did you guys know that the muscles it takes to make a frown is more work then to just turn it upside down. So why hate when love just cost less”(Bonna mohammed). As an oromo indivudal my self born and rasised in canada I only came to this website to know more about my heritage but its really sad to know that people can hate a certain tribe to that extent. All I can say is to the older genertaion please don’t pass down hatered to your children. This life is not about my tribe vs yours its all about getting ready for hearafter so don’t waste your time hating when you can spend your days worshiping.

  • daraje kaba

    I AM HAPPY WITH GADA OROMO .
    I LOVE ALSO TO MOVE IT IN TO THIS TIME.

  • Tekalign Teferi From Arba Minch University

    i am really struggle those who are specifying one ethnic group from others. All Ethiopian ethnic group have their own history and contribution for the existence of today’s Ethiopia. so we have to accept the difference as diversity and beauty please ! rather than saying they are Bad and Good !

  • obsaa birraatuu

    Adaraa yaa saba oromoo aadaa,seenaa fi afaan keenya sirrriitti haa qorannu. wal haa iyyaaffannu. Tokko haa taanu.wal haa jaallannu.

  • diriba elias

    GOD LOVES OROMO,AMHARA,&TIGRE PEOPLE EQUALLY!!THERE IS NO INFERIOR & SUPERIOR MAN INFRONT OF GOD THROUGH HIS BELOVED SON JESUS CHRIST!!!

  • diriba elias

    THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE B/N AFAN OROMO & AMHARIC AS WELL AS TIGRIGNA BEFORE GOD!!! BECAUSE, GOD IS THE FATHER OF ALL LANGUAGE!!! HE WILL HEAR &SPEAKS ALL LANGUAGE AT ONCE!!! SINCE HE IS THE ONLY ONE GOD!!!! GLORY TO HIS GREAT & QUALITY NAME FOREVER!!!!!

  • diriba elias

    I AM VERY HAPPY!!! BECAUSE OF ONLY ” I BELONGS TO JESUS” AND ALSO “JESUS BELONGS TO ME ” FOREVER !!! EVERY THING IS MINE IN THE NAME OF “JESUS” ESPECIALLY “THE KINGDOM OF GOD _HEAVEN ” THROUGH THE ONLY SAVIOR NAME OF “”JESUS”"!!!! EVERY NATION WILL KNEEL TO HIM !!!
    W.YOHN 3:16 ,ROM , 8:31 , 8 :28_30 , 8 :19

  • DIRIBA ELIAS HORDOFA

    Oromoon lammii seenaa,aadaa, afaan ,amantii fi sirna ittiin bulmaata mataa isaa qabu ta’uun isaa kan nama shakkisiisu miti!!! Yeroo ammaa baay’inni uummata oromoo gara miliyoona 40 ol ta’uun isaa ragaadhaan kan mirkanaa’ee dha!!” Har’as ta’e bor seenaa n oromoo dhokatee kan hafu miti!! kanaaf yaa lammii koo!! biyya keessaa fi biyya alaa jirtanii jabaadhaa!! Biyyi oromoo oromiyaa bal’oo fi magariisi ,kan albuuda uumamaan badhaate kan keenya!!” HI DAGATINAA OROMIYAA KEESSAA BAQATU OSOO HIN TAANE , KAN ITTI BAQATAN TA’UU ISHEE HIN DHOKSINAA11 keessaas hin fiiginaa Adaraa!!” Gootota oromoo lubbun darban seenaanis ta’e, waaqni hin dagatu!! biyyoon isaanitti haa salphatu jechaa, kan har’a fagoo fi dhihoo jirtan yaa LAMMII KOO, yaa DHIIGA KOO ,mee na dhaga’i waan sitti himaa— “KOTTAA GARAADHAAF HIN JIRAANNUU !! QABSOO GOOTOTA OROMOO DARBANII KA AKKASUMAANII HIN GOONUU!! DHALOOTA NU BOODDEE JIRANIIFIS HAMBAA KEENYEE HAA DARBINUU ADARAA!!
    ‘LONG LIFE FOR ALL OROMO BRAVER !!!
    lammii keessan kan quuqamee qara ilaalaa jiru,”BARSIISAA DIRRIBAA ELIYAAS ” ILU ABBA BOORAA IRRAA!! MA GOD BLESS ALL OROMO PEOPLES!!

  • Wondi

    Just wondering if you explain more about what kind of religion that oromo have back then?

  • mulatu

    Oromo dirreen oromiyaa kan oromoo ta’uu beekaa!!!! Maxxantootaaf oromiyaa hin kenninu. Jabaadha uummata oromoo tokkummaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!! nitokkummoofna!!!!!!!. oromiyaa dhiigaa ilmaan oromoorra uumamte. ummanni oromoos oromiyaarra margine. of yaa barruu kanacaalaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • mulatu bekele

    oromo make unity understand that we all oromo born from one mother and father by one name oromo

  • NANHAWWEBAR KUSH

    IT IS BETTER TO LEAVE EVERY THINGS TO THE HISTORY. AND LET STANDBY AND UNIT TOGETHER TO BRING A CHANGE ON OUR HOME LAND “OROMIA”. I KNOW THAT WE HAVE A FERTILE MIND THAT ENABLE TO CHANGE OUR COUNTRY!!

  • Abebawe

    Fuck Oromo (gala) leave our country and get back kenya that is ur fucken country

  • Soressa

    I’m proud to my Oromumma! be Happy! don’t fear to tell true History!!

  • Soressa Taarikuu

    Nuyi OROMOONNI Ummata Aadaa, Seenaa, Duudhaa, Afaan, fi amantaa of danda’e, kan Addunyaan beeku Uummata qabudha! Garuu namoonni seenaa Oromoo hin beekne yoo seenaa dogoggoraa barreessan kan Seenaa Oromoo beekummoo nama kana haa barsiisnu, kan dogoggoraan barreeffamee jiru immoo haa sirreessinu, maaliif yoo jettan Oromiyaan Oromoo malee waan hin Qabneef eenyuun eegnaree??????

  • ofbeka

    You all stupid and raciest Amara people, do u know who O is ? don’t collide with mountain stay there. insect. think where the world is right now.

  • bilisuma

    all of us need to be free and also to see developed and prosperious oromia but all of this things so not succeed only by wish and hope unless we fight for and sacrifice ourselves. thanks

  • Abdii Surmaa

    I want to give reply to Helendiva! you fucken women!where are you come from insulting the oromo’s. we know Amharas history and who they are. they are “komatas” and” lemagn”. you fucken viginas. wash your vigina first before insulting us!stupid, nonsense!

  • abrsh

    you oromos now you are influyenced by tigryans not amharas hey garbages let me tell you the truth amharas are cristians and they dosn’t hate oromo we are educated but you are un minded don’t you see that weyane is is tray to create conflict b/n us love each othe 1……………….ETHIOPIAN ADERA BROTHERS!

  • garammacaa

    we are a unique smart tribes over the world. I believe one day we get our liberation freely don’t worry man!!! OROMIYAAN NI BILISOOMTI!!!!

  • Klaudia

    I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes
    which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and
    visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your
    theme? Fantastic work!

  • asaanti oromoo

    abebawe you are stupid person you know this one but do you have country ante dikala gojame just you get back from oromo country

  • Nega

    @ helendiva, i am quite sorry for your mind setup
    u can not think like that, you can not insult nation. If you know what is wrong and right it is bloody wrong to insult people. If you think you are from the respected people where is your nobility. hate belongs to Satan, i assure we all are human being, that is it. let me tell you, i traveled to all parts of Ethiopia. I saw poor Ethiopian every where they all have one thing in common if you respect them they do to u if you love them they do the same. whoever says dirty word he is that. as form I am totally oromo (till 7 ancestors) , i tell u that i have great friends from Oromo, Tigre, Amhare, Somali, Debub… i respect them and their nation, Ethiopian. even in other part of the World i got friends as human being regardless of race. never follow the Stan, the Lord of darkness and hatred. turn to God of love and peace. otherwise, i tell, you suffer your evil choice. as for me i Love human being with their all dignity for this means acknowledging God who created them for he is right in creating Oromo, Amhara and all others. hope u must surrender, please choose to escape the prison of your evil thinking. I see u are chained by your on choice. thank u. never insult, let choose peace and Love

  • Walee Walisoo

    Oduu dhiifnee mee lammii garbummaa amantaa jalatti kufee barnoota lafee Taaddasaa Birriin argamerra fagaagate barmootaaf haakakafnu , baranaan qabeenya horannan wanti hundi salphaadha- Waleen Walisuma

  • oromia adugna

    warii saabaa oromoo arabsaa jirtaan of eegaa yoo qaanqaloo keenyaa baanee kaadha dhaagnaa jetaan maale moo …okey

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