About Oromia

1. The Oromo People: In spite of the fact that there are several indications and evidences that Oromo are indigenous to this part of Africa, Abyssinian rulers, court historians and monks contend that Oromo are newcomers to the region and did not belong here. For instance, the Abyssinian court historian, Alaqa Taye (1955), alleged that in the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries the Oromo migrated from Asia and Madagascar, entered Africa via Mombasa and spread north and eastwards.  Read More...

 

2. The Land: The country of the Oromo is called Biyya-Oromo (Oromo country) or Oromia (Oromiyaor Oromiyaa). Oromia is a name given by the Oromo Liberation Front to Oromoland, now part of the Ethiopian Empire. Krapf (1860) proposed the term Ormania to designate the nationality or the country of the Oromo people.  Read More...

 

3. Languagae:  The Oromo nation has a single common mother tongue and basic common culture. The Oromo language, Afaan Oromoo, belongs to the eastern Cushitic group of languages and is the most extensive of the forty or so Cushitic languages. The Oromo language is very closely related to Konso, with more than fifty percent of the words in common, closely related to Somali and distantly related to Afar and Saho.  Read More...

 

4. Culture: Oromo have a very rich culture, fostered by the size of the population and large land areas with diverse climatic conditions. One highly developed self-sufficient system which has influenced every aspect of Oromo life is theGadaa system. It is a system that organizes the Oromo society into groups or sets (about 7-11) that assume different responsibilities in the society every eight years. It has guided the religious, social, political and economic life of Oromo for many years, and also their philosophy, art, history and method of time-keeping. Read More...

 

5. Religion: There are three main religions in Oromia: traditional Oromo religion, Islam and Christianity. Before the introduction of Christianity and Islam, the Oromo people practiced their own religion. They believed in oneWaaqayoo, which approximates to the English word God. They never worshipped false gods or carved statues as substitutes. M. de Almeida (1628-46) had the following to say: "the Gallas (Oromo) are neither Christians, moors nor heathens, for they have no idols to worship.Read More...

 

6. Calendar: Time is a very important concept in Gadaa and in Oromo life. Gadaa itself can be narrowly defined as a given set of time (period) which groups of individuals perform specific duties in a society. Gadaa could also mean age. The lives of individuals, rituals, ceremonies, political and economic activities are scheduled rather precisely. For this purpose, the Oromo have a calendar. The calendar is also used for weather forecasting and divination purposes.  Read More...

 

7. Economy:  Before Oromia was colonized, the Oromians built a self-sufficient economy based on agriculture, large ranching practices, handicrafts, and small industry responsible for steal production. With the arrival in the late 1860s a large number of colonial settlers, this cooperative economy was supplemented by a non-Oromo. Read More...

 

8. Oromumma: Explaining Oromummaa intelligently and clearly requires at least five levels of conceptualization: at the first level, having a basic form of Oromummaa means to manifest Oromoness by practicing some aspects of Oromo culture, language, belief systems, values, norms, customs, and traditions. An Oromo automatically develops this form of Oromummaa because of the influence of Oromo extended families and community institutions. Read More...