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The Oromo of Ethiopia

The Oromo are an ethnic group found in Ethiopia, northern Kenya, and parts of Somalia. With 30 million members, they constitute the single largest ethnicity in Ethiopia. Their native language is Oromo (also called Afaan Oromoo and Oromiffa), which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family.

Oromos are the largest Cushitic-speaking group of people living in Northeast and East Africa. Available information suggests that they have existed as a community in the Horn of Africa for several millenia.

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

While further research is needed to precisely comprehend their origins, the Oromo are believed to have originally adhered to a pastoralist/nomadic and/or semi-agriculturalist lifestyle. Many historians agree that some Oromo clans (Bale) have lived in the southern tip of present-day Ethiopia for over a millennium. They suggest that a great Oromo migration brought most Oromos to present-day central and western Ethiopia in the 16th and 17th centuries. Historical maps of the ancient Aksum/Abyssinia empire and Adal/Somali empires indicate that Oromo people are newcomers to most of modern-day central Ethiopia.

(Source: Wikipedia)


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