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The Amhara people

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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:

• Begemder
• Gojjam
• In parts of Shoa
• Wallo

Many Amhara live in the mountains, politically strategic, but making it difficult to travel and gain provisions. The work division look like that the:

• men in the fields
• women around the house and
• children at home and watching the animals

The chief food of the Amhara is injera and wot. Injera is prepared from indigenous grain called teff. Wot is a sauce that can be made from beans or meat.

Although their life is hard (due to contaminated drinking water and deforestation causing most Amhara to live in yearly risk of famine) the Amhara are proud people, proud of their ethnicity, their religion, their special place in the world. Their culture is strong, developed over many centuries, and it has resisted the invasions of outside governments and religions.

Most marriages are discussed by the two families. Divorce is acceptable and must also be negotiated. There is also a “temporary marriage,” by oral contract before witnesses. Priests may marry but not entitled for divorce or remarriage.

We know we only said very little about the Amhara people. Feel free to write us any thing related to this topic and we will gladly publish it in this blog.

Keywords: Amhara people, Amharic, Begemder, Gojjam, Shoa, Wallo, injera, wot, teff,

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