The Oromo (Oromo: Oromoo; Oromo), are an ethnic group inhabiting Ethiopia, northern Kenya, and parts of Somalia. With 30 million members, they constitute the single largest ethnicity in Ethiopia and the wider Horn of Africa, at approximately 34.49% of Ethiopia’s population according to the 2007 census. Oromos speak the Oromo language as a mother tongue (also called Afaan Oromo and Oromiffa), which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family. The name was given as Ilm’ Orma (“Sons of Men” or an eponymous ‘Orma’) in the 19th century; the present form is probably an obsolete plural of the same word orma
Oromos are the largest Cushitic-speaking group of people living in Northeast Africa. Available information suggests that they have existed as a community in the Horn of Africa for several millennia (Prouty et al., 1981). Bates (1979) contends that 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”. 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 trade-influenced Oromo migration brought most Oromos to present-day central and western Ethiopia in the 16th and 17th centuries. Historical maps of the ancient Aksum/Abyssinian Empire andAdal/Somali empires indicate that Oromo people are newcomers to most of modern-day central Ethiopia
TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMES
Oromo society was traditionally structured in accordance with Gadaa, a social stratification system partially based on an eight-year cycle of age sets. However, over the centuries, the age sets grew out-of-alignment with the actual ages of their members, and sometime in the 19th century, another age set system was instituted. Under gadaa, every eight years, the Oromo would hold a popular assembly called the Gumi Gayo, where laws were established for the following eight years. A democratically elected leader, the Abba Gada, presided over the system for an eight-year term. Gadaa is no longer in wide practice but remains influential.In a short article, Geoffrey W. Arnott described an Oromo rite of passage in which young men run over the backs of bulls surrounded by the village community
The Oromo speak the Oromo language as a mother tongue (also known as Afaan Oromo and Oromiffa). It belongs to the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family. According to Ethnologue, there are around 40,467,900 Oromo speakers worldwide.]The Oromo language is divided into four main linguistic varieties: Borana-Arsi-Guji Oromo, Eastern Oromo, Orma and West Central Oromo. Modern writing systems used to transcribe Oromo include the Latin script. The Ethiopic script had previously been used by Oromo communities in west-central Ethiopia up until the 1990s. Additionally, the Sapalo script was historically used to write Oromo. It was invented by the Oromo scholar Sheikh Bakri Sapalo (also known by his birth name, Abubaker Usman Odaa) during the 1950s. The Arabic script has also traditionally been used in areas with Muslim population
The Tutsis are thought to have originally been cattle-herding warriors, similar in culture to the famous Maasai, but from a different racial stock. They brought with them hump less cattle, new to the area. The Bantu people were farmers and fishers, though they also kept the Zebu cattle popular all over Africa, and common among the Bantu peoples. Gold work has been practiced in some parts of Oromia. Goldsmiths specialize in making earrings, necklaces, and other gold objects. There are Oromos who specialize in making other utensils from horn, pottery, and leather. Mugs, spoons, and containers for honey wine are made from horn. Basins, dishes, water jars, and vessels are made from pottery. Various kinds of bags to hold milk are made from leather.
RELIGIONS AND BELIEFS
Waaq (also Waq or Waaqa) is the name of God in the traditional Oromo religion, which only about 3% of the population of Oromia follows today, those who do usually living in the Borena Zone. In the 2007 Ethiopian census in the 88% Oromo region of Oromia, 47.5% were Muslims, 30.5% Orthodox Christians, 17.7% Protestant Christian, 3.3% Traditional. Protestant Christianity is the fastest growing religion inside the Oromo community. In urban areas of Oromia, Orthodox Christianity constitutes 51.2% of the population, followed by Islam 29.9% and Protestants 17.5%. adherence to traditional practices and rituals is still common among many Oromo people regardless of religious background
Some Oromo men wear woya (toga-like robes), and some women wear wandabiti (skirts). Others wear leather garments or animal skin robes, and some women wear qollo and sadetta (women’s cloth made of cotton).Modern garments from around the world are also worn. In cash-producing areas and cities, Oromos wear modern Western-style clothes. Oromos have clothes designated for special days. They call the clothes that they wear on holidays or other important day’s kitii and the clothes that they wear on working days logo
The main foods of Oromos are animal products including foon (meat), anan (milk), badu (cheese), dhadha (butter), and cereals that are eaten as marqa (porridge) and bideena (bread). Oromos drink coffee, dhadhi (honey wine), and faarso (beer). Some Oromos chew chat (a stimulant leaf) the special dish of Oromos is itoo (made with meat or chicken, spices, hot pepper, and other ingredients) and bideena bread (made from xafi or millet). Sometimes mariqa or qincee (made from barley) is eaten for breakfast. Ancootee (a food made from the roots of certain plants) is a special food in some parts of western Oromia. All members of the family eat together. Members of the family sit on stools eat off wooden platters or dishes, use wooden spoons for liquids, and use washed hands to pick up solid foods. The majority of Oromos eat twice a day, in the morning and at night. Muslim Oromos do not eat pork for religious reasons.
MUSIC, SONGS DANCES
Oromo cultural heritage is expressed through mirisa, weedu, and different cultural activities. There are different kinds of weedu, such as weedu fuudha (a marriage song), weedu lola (a war song), and weedu hoji (a work song). Oromo women have their own song, called helee that they use to express their love for their country, children, and husbands. Young boys invite girls to marriage ceremonies by singing hurmiso. Men do dhichisa (a dance to celebrate the marriage ceremony) and women do shagayoo (singing and dancing) during marriage ceremonies. There are prayer songs called shubisu and deedisu.