Image: Oromo


Oromo, African people of Hamitic origin inhabiting the territory between central Ethiopia and the Galana River in Kenya. The Oromo are often referred to as the Galla, a name thought to derive from the Arabic "ghaliz," meaning rough or wild, although in Ethiopia it is connected with the Gala River. Oromo nationalists consider the term Galla to be discriminatory. The Oromo are related to the Somali and to the Afars in the Denakil region of northeastern Ethiopia. They speak the Oromo, or Cushitic, language, which is a branch of the Afro-Asian linguistic family.

Most Oromo traditionally follow a nomadic

Most Oromo traditionally follow a nomadic pastoral existence; some, however, live in agricultural settlements. Livestock raising and beekeeping are the primary occupations. Monogamy is generally the rule, but in some areas polygamy is practiced, the number of wives being dependent upon the economic status of the husband. Oromos include Muslims, Christians who are adherents of the Coptic church or Protestantism, and traditional animists.

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