Oromo People

Oromo is the single biggest nation in Ethiopia. Oromos call their country Oromia also written as Oromiya. Oromo country covers 600,000 Square km (375,000 Square miles); Larger than Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands and France combined. Oromo people speak the Oromo language, “Afaan Oromoo”. Being the most suppressed and even once banned indigenous African language, Afaan Oromo is more than a medium of communication for the Oromos, It has been serving to retain a powerful sense of identity  and unity among the Oromo people.

Oromo have a rich culture fostered by their big population size and unique socio-political organization. Oromos are among the few nations who developed the most complex egalitarian democracy of their own called Gadaa system. Gadaa is a highly developed and self-sufficient system which has influenced every aspect of Oromo life until the end of 20th century when they fell under Abyssinian colony.  Under Gadaa system the power to administer the affairs of the nation and the power to make laws belong to the people. Practicing this unique and home grown democratic system was banned in Ethiopian empire for over 100 years. However, Oromos have kept its ceremonial and cultural aspects against all the odds until now. See more about Gadaa system under culture.

Oromo Land

Oromia (spelled Oromiyaa in the Oromo language; Amharic: ኦሮምያ?) is one of the nine ethnically based regional states of Ethiopia. Oromo country covers 600,000 Square km (375,000 Square miles); Larger than Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands and France combined. It is bordered by the Somali Region to the east; the Amhara Region, the Afar Region and the Benishangul-Gumuz Region to the north; South Sudan, Gambela Region, and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region to the west; and Kenya to the south. The 2007 census reported Oromia’s population at over 27 million, making it the largest state in population and area. Its current capital is Addis Ababa (Oromo: Finfinne); other important cities and towns include Adama, Dire Dawa, Harer, Ambo, Waliso, Asella, Bishoftu, Chiro, Dembidolo, Fiche, Gimbi, Robe, Goba, Dello Buna, Jimma, Metu, Negele Boran, Moyale, Nekemte and Shashamane.

Oromo Democracy

Prior to their colonization during the European Scramble for Africa by the alliance of European imperialism and Ethiopian colonialism the Oromo people were independent and organized both culturally and politically using the gadaa system (Oromo democracy) to promote their wellbeing and to maintain their security and sovereignty.

Gadaa government comprised a hierarchy of triple levels of government: the national, the regional and the local. At the pan-Oromo level, the national government was led by an elected luba council [leaders] formed from representatives of the major Oromo moieties, clan families and clans, under the presidency of the abbaa gadaa and his two deputies . . . The national leadership was responsible for such important matters as legislation and enforcement of general laws, handling issues of war and peace and coordinating the nation’s defense, management of intra-Oromo clan conflicts and dealing with non-Oromo people.

Oromo Culture

Oromia, East Africa – Eastern Oromia culture – Buna Qalu ceremony – Part of the Gadaa system. Ancient ritual going back all the way to the ancient Egypt. The Oromo people are part of Cushatic people, which number over 40 million people.