JAENEN. T HE GALLA, or Oromo meaning “free men,” constitute one of the largest. racial groups in Ethiopia and a small minority in Kenya.
Somalis, Habesha, and Oromo are all part of the Afro-Asiatic Family, but Somalis are not doubt more closer to the Oromo because both Somalis and Oromo are part of Cushitic branch, while the Habesha belong to the Semitic branch, which means they are more closely related to Jews, Arabs, Assyrians, and other Semites.
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. Abyssinian clergies even contended that Oromo emerged from water.
Borana and Barentu in Oromo oral history are said to be brothers who were the sons Orma, father of all Oromos. These two major groups are in turn subdivided into an assortment of clan families.
Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and one of the world’s oldest – it exists for at least 2,000 years. The country comprises more than 80 ethnic groups and as many languages.
Studies of Ethiopians belonging to Semitic and Cushitic ethnic groups mostly from the north of the country (the Oromo, Amhara, Tigray, and Gurage) estimate approximately 40% of their autosomal ancestry to be derived from an ancient non-African back-migration from the near East, and about 60% to be of local native
Amharic has been strongly influenced by the Cushitic languages, especially Oromo and the Agaw languages. The dialects of Amharic are not strongly differentiated from one another. Some 18.7 million people spoke Amharic in the early 21st century.
The site of Addis Ababa was chosen by Empress Taytu Betul and the city was founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II.
With a population of 21.1 million in 2017, Amhara is the second most populous region (making up 22.4 per cent of the Ethiopian population), (Table 1).
While no ethnic group constitutes a majority of Kenya’s citizens, the largest ethnic group, the Kikuyu, makes up only 20% of the nation’s total population, The five largest – Kikuyu, Luo, Luhya, Kamba and Kalenjin – account for 70%. 97.58% of Kenya’s citizens are affiliated with its 32 major indigenous groups.
According to Robert Fay, the ancient Semitic speakers from Yemen were Himyarites and they settled in the Aksum area in northern Ethiopia. There, they intermarried with native speakers of Agaw and other Cushitic languages, and gradually spread southwards into the modern Amhara homeland.
It is related to Geʿez, the sacred literary language of the Ethiopian Orthodox church, an ancient religion that took root in the Aksum Empire in the 4th–5th century and affirmed a miaphysite doctrine. The Amhara, along with the Tigray peoples, are the principal adherents of this church.
There are many Oromo who are followers of Islam or Christianity and still practice the traditional Oromo religion (Facts About the Oromo of East Africa ). The Chair of the Oromia Support Group quotes sources that state that 55% – 60% of the Oromo are Muslim, 40% – 45% are Christian, and up to 15% Animist.
Ethiopia 2020 population is estimated at 114,963,588 people at mid year according to UN data. Ethiopia population is equivalent to 1.47 % of the total world population.