History of Origion

The origin of southern Ethiopia people.

gedeo people 5gamo gofa elders people

wolayita peopledawuro-500x300

gofa peoplekanbata elers.

The History of Southern Ethiopia. We are one people, stop dividing us.

The History of Southern Ethiopia.We are one people, stop dividing us. Before we look into the diversification of many cultures, traditions, tribes, we are going to look in to some scientific researchers exhibit from 1966-1976, in the surrounding of the Omo valley. This area lies from Lake Turkana to Konso and Fejej. This particular area's sedimentary rocks aged 3.5 Million years which used as evidence for the origin of the first human in the world. (Very recent research shown.)

Note: Artifactual evidence indicates that modern humans fossil found in Europe was 40,000 and possibly as early as 46,000 years ago. Dating of the earliest modern human fossils in Asia is less secure, but it is likely there aged between 60,000 years ago and possibly 100,000 years ago. Copyright © 1999-2013 by Dennis O'Neil. All rights reserved.
East Africa: Date of Fossil (years ago)
Herto, Middle Awash 160,000-154,000 
Omo 1 195,000
Laetoli 120,000
The historical research showing that the first upright walking human found in Southern Ethiopia's rift valley aged 4.5 million years. Some historian also explains, the Omotic and Cushitic speakers lived in Ethiopia about 7000 BC. The rest of people from Arabian Peninsula have joined the rest of Ethiopians in the year 2000 BC. People are emigrating from Africa to Europe 200,000 years ago probably across Sanai to the Red Sea.
The Southern Nation Nationalities and People's Region: - is the area of indigenous Ethiopian people who have resided there for thousands of decades. The indigenous people are part of the fossils which found in the area located from Lake Turkana to Konso to Fejej by many Anthropologists, Archeologists, Geologists, and Paleontologists. These indigenous people have not come and settled from anywhere else, but they are there forever as well they are part of the land, and the land is part of them.
Today for Ometo or Omotic, and Nilotic (Afro-Asiatic speakers) it is time to pass the real history to the coming generation with enough scientifically researched documents.
Damot administration (the administration of Southern people)

old days ethiopian map


Damot administration or (the administration of Southern people) was an old government which existed before the Northern people came or the Oromo expansion took place. This administration has known before and after the north settlement. It located at the south of the Blue Nile: -South Gojam, Welega, Keffa, South Shewa (Enner Guragie), Arsi, Kenbat, Dawuro, Wolayita, Maraqi, Hadiya, Gamo, Goff, Mello, Maalle, Basketo, Yem, were under southern administration.This area administered by king whose root was Damot Eneriya and Buzamo (Kanbata, Ganz, Gafat, Kulu, Konta, Wolayita, Maraqo, Yem, Garo, Azernete-Berber, Enner Guragie, etc…) At the time each and every district had it's own kings based on their clan's hierarchy.
This administration was known for producing of gold and other mining business.
In 1117-1170 the Zaguwe Daynasty in Roha sent Orthodox Church missionaries to Damot King Motolomi, who was pagan in the south of Blue Nile. Later, King Amde Tsiyon incorporated built churches throughout Damot. In the early 16th century Damot pagan's country start changing their ethnic religion to Orthodox. The Omotic people controlled Western Ethiopia from Gojam all the way to southern Malle. They aslo participated in the war between Atse Libne Dingil's and Gragn Ahmed. If the Kenbata Queen Hamalmal is not joined the war by Organizing Portuguese soldiers, the majority of the Orthodox followers will convert into Moslem. Queen Hamalmal did a great job by bringing 400 Portuguese soldiers and kick Gragn Ahmed out of the area in 1555. In this war, not only the Kanbata, but the today's Dawuro, Wolyita, and Hadiya, were joined. That was also during the time the Oromo expansionist open another front of war at Arusi side, but they lost the war by Queen Hamalmal's soldiers. Today the Omotic people have settled in a small region which is over populated, mismanaged and abused by Northern invaders and by the Oromo expansionist.

Oyicha Gamua (ኦይቻ ጋሟ)



Highlands of the Gamo ( Dorze, Doko, SulLaa, Ocholo, Ezo, Qogo, DitaChoita, Fango, Zozo, Gema, Zardo, Doyina, Damuze, Wogada, Tutusha, Umo, Billale Shaye, Birbir, Barana, Chilashe, Manana, Layotirga, Gutisha, Chaba, Zada, Woyiza, Wacha, Ganta, Bonke, Kenba, Otolo, Anduro, Garda, Zanrgula, Zayise, Geresse, Marta, Degadone, (Alaa)) are perched high above the African Rift Valley in Southwestern Ethiopia. This isolated area is one of the most densely populated parts of rural Africa that have been farmed sustainably since the agriculture created 10,000 years ago. During a visit in 1963 EC to Chencha Sullaa (my Makka land), my father told me a story that his father shared with him a long time ago. He said, "about 300 years ago, the Gamo local people used animal waste for fertilizer; caring it from one area to another by horseback". This story is a clear depiction that the land always being nurtured and the soil harvesting fresh wheat, bean, peas, enset, etc... at the same time, what we saw is, the indigenous people lived there years and years.
The new Gamo document on the tribe division. The new document displayed on a social media of Facebook. It had shared us a vital and supportive document which will strengthen our narration over our identity, the identity that Southern Ethiopian people own it.
This paper displayed under the name of Midre Genet Arbaminch (nickname). Thank you.
The document is clearly decent as I know myself who born raised in the area.
We are looking forward to more tribe's report to write our history together. First, we are going to translate page 1, which has relation to our title, the origin of the Gamo people.
Here is, the way how the Gamo tribe came.
The document based on Gamo ethnic tribe. This tribe mainly settled in nine districts which are Bonke, Kenba, Arbaminch Zuriya, Dita, Deramalo, Qucha, Boreda and Mirababaya.These areas established as many as 200 and plus tribes are involved. From these tribes, we are going to mention some few very traditional and primary root for other tribes as follows.
Afmalla, Amenu, Argama, Armalla, Ashumalla, Ayifarso, Ayigura, Ayika, Babila, Badala, Bere, Belleta, Belliso, Boda, Bola, Bobu, Bocha, Bordu, Borodamalla, Bosha, Boyura, Bokamalla, Bora, Bora, Buyila, Buzantena, Dara, Dama, Dazxe, Dagi, Densomalla, Dufe, Aelle, Fango, Fishoku, Gagge, Gabu, Gachura, Galleta, Gaja, Ganke, Gandarcha, Gansi, Ganti, Ganee, Gambi, Garketi, Gamomalla, Garbani, Gayiz, Gayin, Gerri, Gegizze, Gezomalla, Gondu, Gonti, Goma, Gomisha, Goshana, Gozxte, Gudareta, Guru, Hono, Hochuma, Alamalla, Alota, Ina፟a, Inaaketta, Eppi, Kaffa, Kaki, Massire, Masha, Malla, Manga, Manta, Makka, Masta, Mancho, Mayila, Mezze, Moru, Misso, Mugura, Oochu, Oqina, Qogomalla, Swurelie, Siemale, Sienana,Sieriso, Shalla, Shalugo, Shii, Shalasha, Shallazx, Shillu, Sodo, Sorbu, Shuitie, Ugo, Ulqo, Woderta, Wogeli, Wosa, Woqaqro, Worji, Wormu, Worza, Ziega, Zulle, Zullesa, Zutuma, Zimi, and etc…
Let me give you some evidence of racial division which supported from oral history, and few anthropological documents. Our elders are our dictionaries, history books and facts that related to all of us.
(The following article was prepared by Mulugeta Dalbo and by Fanta Joba)
በደቡብ ኢትዮጲያ ውስጥ በተለይ በኦሞትክ ብሔረሰቦች መሐከል ያለ ስብጥርና ዝምድናን በተመለከተ ከ95 ዓመት ዕድሜ በላይ ካላቸው ከአገር ሽማግሌዎች የተሰበሰበውን መረጃ እንደሚከተለው እናቀርባለን።

Boreda Abaya is one of the 77 woredas in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Semien Omo Zone, Boreda Abaya is bordered on the south by Arba Minch Zuria, on the southwest by Chencha, on the west by Kucha, on the north by Humbo, and on the east by Lake Abaya which separates it from the Oromia Region. Aruro Island, the largest island in Lake Abaya, is administratively part of this woreda. Towns in Boreda Abaya include Birbir and Zefene. Many documents showing us, there are over 200 tribes in Southern Ethiopia people.


Boreja. He was the man primarily came to BOREDA with his six other tribes. BOREDA MALLA, GAFATA, ARGAMA, KESIGA, GONDUWA, WORERTA, CHINASHA all came settled for the first time at ZOBIRO mountain. They brought an ox with them & butchered it there as considering the mountain (ZOBIRO) could show them every direction from which an enemy comes. Finally they found MULAATO (ZEFINE) much better & higher peak than Zobiro Mountain, so that moved to Mulaato.After reaching to MULAATO, they were departed to three different directions. ARGAMA, KESIGA & MALAYGNE moved to BARANA.
A year after, CHINASHA & GAFATA moved to AWUSATO (one among 29 kebeles at BOREDA).
KERA market (ቀራ ጊያ) at Zefine named after KERA the son of BOREJA.
ANNA born SANA, .So that, ANNA SANA BORODA, came after them.
SANNA born GOLLA. GOLLO MALLA came after them.
Finally as population increased, they decided to have a king (ካዎ) and elected SANNA as their local king. During his regime, he faced great conflict among Wolayta people. After Wanna passed away his son, GOLLO, took over the thorn & led secured governed well and passed in peace.
GOLLO born MEGARO (King ( ካዎ) Megaro).
During Kawo Megaro, lack of formal government in South Ethiopia; including Kambata, Sidama,hadiya, Wolayta, Boreda, Gamo, Gofa, Dawuro, Koyira, etc…Atse Minilik start the war to unify the whole South as parts of central government in Ethiopia. Let's see how it happened?
History of Atse Minilik's wear, in Wolayta and Boreda.
This document has taken from the oral story, if there is any discrepancy, please send us the better documents which you had with your proof. Thank you.

Failing to overcome the Wolayta people using force led by Ras Mengesha. In this war, the Great Walayita heros beat Atse Minilik’s Soldiers who came from South at Borena side, From north at Kenbata and Maraqo side by the help of King Aba Jifar of Jima led by Ras Mengesha Siyum of Shewa. Minilik decided to lead the second trip of war by himself. Meanwhile, he got an advice from elders how to defeat his enemy in two ways. Wolayta people are known by building very attractive and strong hut from log and grass; they advised him to ingulf all these huts on fire so that, they will be busy. Minilik’s soldiers did this, and easily to cross Boreda and captured KingTona of Wolayita at Boreda and king Megaro (King of boreda) at Birbir. When he (King Minilik) was at war suddenly unexpected message was delivered to him from his wife. The message was Zewuditu had been caught by an Italian military then he obliged  continuing further; they took Megaro and Tona to Addis with Minilik. He was wounded by Megaros & Tonas talency. They resisted him and recognized them as legal leaders. He further gave a task to Megaro to establish legal government system in the rest of Gamo people but was not established because of obstacle to Minilik’s wife. King Tona was recognized by King Minlik and participated in the task of central government.

At this war the Kenbata’s are in a support of King Minilik’s Military. That was the time the Sothern people are divided in to many pieces not to have enough strength. Then King Minilik gave Anfilo, Oyida, Kaficho, Sheko, Chara, Yem, Mao, Gyila, Nao, Suri, Seze tribes to Kefa province, Kenbata, Hadiyia, Maraqo, Guragie,to She wa province, Wolayita to Sidamo region, and Gamo Gofa and the rest of Sothern people made one area called Gamo Gofa province, and gave gift the land and the people to his soldiers and the Church priests who participated in the war with his soldiers. That was the time the southern people unity have broken down in to pieces, supported by the luck of transportation, the areas minor land based conflict, communication problem, luck of economical tie, and luck of education.

ELEVEN BORODA? Let me acquaint you with them: KING MEGARO who was nominated himself as eleventh representative. Among 11 representatives of Boreda , Gare has its own ruling system & King (ንጉሥ).





Historical name of Raya wonz (Iraye shafiya at wagifo )At time of kIng H/Silasie lots of Menzes were settleed at Wajifo, lots of Gonderes at Menuka and lots of Woloyes at Dana one and Dana two of Kucha woredas.

The Gare king whose name was Raya, came to Gare from Kenbata. Through his journey to Gare he spent a night at Wagifo near to Iraye river formerly known as Bissa River. Then he named it after his name.

Then the Gare king RAYA born WOTICHA, WOTICHA born WOLELA

WOLELA born BASHA, BASHA born ILILO, ILILO born ALBO, ALBO born MOAA, MOAA born DAGERA, DAGERA born CHILE, CHILE born MADA, and Geri King Mada are currently alive.

“Damot- Ennariya also included other peoples such as Damot, Ganz, Gafat, Kaffa, Kullo, Konta, Wolayta, Maraqo, Yem, Garo, Azernete-Berbere and Enner Gurage (Ennariya).” from Tesfaye Habiso.

Damot Enariya was the root of King of Wolayita called Motolimi (Wolayita  Malla) as well his root has blood relation to the  Kenbata, and he related to king Anna Sanna Boreja rooted to  Gamo and Goffa people.

As history telling us from Southern Gamo Gofa to all the way to Damot of Gojam including means Shewa, Welega, and Kefa provinces, until the Oromo expansion war took the territories, the area was controlled by Southern indigenous people.

When we the division of the tribes are mainly caused by, the areas minor land and water based conflict, lack of transportation, lack of communication problem, lack of economic ties, and lack of education etc…

The other reality is, there are clear blood relation of Kanbatas with Sidama, Amhara, Guragie and Oromo. This also happened in many areas of Sothern Omotic people. You could see few examples in the tribe division at the bottom of these paragraph. The tribe differences are not affects today's marriage or social interactions.

The elders with whom I made an interview generally classify tribes in to two: Locally respected and usually candidate for throne (nominated to be as a king) are: Malla groups (This is recognized in Wolayita, Kenbata, Dawuro, Gamo, and Gofa)

There are different kinds of Malla group in Southern people.

 * Worka Malla (Golden Malla) First grade.

* Bira Malla (Silver Malla) Second grade.

* Gorta Malla (Bronz) Third grade.

* Chare Malla (Swampy Malla which is very wealthy group)

* Boyna Boreda malla. (Yegodere Malla which is very sticky)

Malla 2. Dogola or (soma and Tsona or TOMA AND TONA.) 3. Toma are (Degela, Chinasha, Wogachiya, and Ayiliya (the new name released after slave trade as a tribe name; - if you paid Guma (settlement you will be freed and join the community as standard citiczen). This names are created by society acceptance not from basic root of Southern people, as well, some of them are categorization was based on the area from where they came.  For instance, Ato Buuye, at Hambisa kebele; he is Chinasha, but his tribe was Malla. Dagna Buko they call him bad name but his tribe is among well respected once. Ato wogachiya Gibo is Degela originally his tribe was one of respected tribe group.

Malla further clasfied in about 30 and more different branches:- Some are

1.Boroda malla (King Megaro)    2.Gollo malla (Keboreda)  3.Gezo malla  4. Qogo malla (Gamo)   5.Chila malla (chilashe)   6.Kolo malla (Kegofa)


Worketa  Tamara  Masha

Mayla  Gachaa, these tribes are with high social sanctions: - has segregated away from main roads and marriage relations with other tribes.


1.Gudareta       2.Argama    3.Zatuwa

4.Gollo Malla  5.Worerta   6.Gonduwa

7.Ayfarsuwa      8. Makaa

Some of these tribes categorized to domestic, wild animals, specious of trees & birds.

Tribes related to pets are:  Malla for sheep   Zawura for goat

Muguruta for cow,ox                   

The tribes which are categorized with trees are:

Bubula for Wolla(shola)     Argama for Ladiya

Malla for Anka (bisana)     Masha for Maguwa

Tribes classified with birds specious are:

Hiraytuwa for Tingile (chilfit)  Boroda mala for korase (qura)

Kalicha for Bieuwa ...........etc.

Language relation and differences of the SNNPR

The bottom language study document has taken from:-

 Vol. 5(9), pp. 373-380, December, 2013 DOI: 10.5897/IJSA2013.0471 ISSN 2006- 988x © 2013 Academic Journals http://www.academicjournals.org/IJSA

International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology

Vol. 5(9), pp. 373-380, December, 2013

DOI: 10.5897/IJSA2013.0471

ISSN 2006- 988x © 2013 Academic Journals


International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology

 We are using this study note for satisfying as perfect evidence.This study has lots of things missing or they are misguided by somebody, as well, divisive and it didn’t go deep down to the real language relation dialects. For now we needed it as a draft evidence.

In its phonemic inventory, the K‟uch‟a dialect appears different from the rest for it lacks two phonemes /ts/, and /s’/. In contrast, the K‟uch‟a Gamo has /t’/ which is not found in the others. K‟uch‟a replaces /tt/ in place of /ts /. The following words show the /t’/-/s’/ and /tt/-/ts/ correspondences found in K‟uch‟a against the others.(it is not true but they tried. We are not fighting over the border, we just trying to get your study for reality.)

Ochollo         Dorze           Boreda            K’uch’a      Meaning

s‟ugunts s‟   sugunts        s‟ugunts u    t‟uguntta      Finger nail.

Dants        dants           Tantsa           t‟antta             breast

mek‟ets    mek‟ets        mek‟etsa       mek‟etta         bone

kets           kets             keta               ketta              house

In this study I can tell all the people who are representing each language are not participated in translation session and the writer tried to fulfil all by people.  For example: - breast in Dorze they call it Tsants and in Ocholo Tsants but they put it as Dants and also there is no deference’s between Boreda and Kucha dialects. (Tantta in Boreda is same as Tantta in Kucha in Wolayitta too) Means they are separating Kuchans from Boredas. Boreda and Kucha has about 99% similarity in dialects.

The study also included wolayita, Dawuro, Gofa, oyda, Basketo, and etc; as I mentioned some authors are careless and some are ignoring our oneness or not having enough translators. As all we knew, all languages are equal, and we don’t need which language dominant and which language is recessive. We just want to know the origin of oneness. We taught illiteracy campaign in Doko, Dorze, Sullaa, Chencha, Azo, Ganta, Dita, Kanba, Gerese, Zayse, Boreda, Kucha, Gofa, Basketo Mello, Darra, and etc… using the book written in Wolayitgna language. Didn’t we learned Amharic as our own language?  What is wrong if we could speak any of Southern language, including all Ethiopians ethnic languages? Or we have to ignore our unity by supporting Minilik's ideology which dived and rule policy?

                         North Ometo

Figure 1. Internal classification of North Ometo. Classification that considers Wolaitta as an “extensive dialect cluster”, subsumes Gamo and others (Dawuro, Konta, and Dorze)”, under it. The study recognizes the high level of relationship that exists among the members of the subgroup. However, it does not provide the basis for assuming Wolaitta to take up a higher node in the family tree and subsume Gamo and others under it. It neither justifies the reasons for mother-daughter kind of relationship established between Wolaitta and Gamo (also the others) respectively. Similarly, the Omotic language family tree that was introduced by Bender and Fleming (1976: 47), assumes the same relationship between Wolaitta and Gamo (also the others) and presents the internal classification of North Ometo as shown in Figure 1. As presented in Figure 1, while Dawuro and Oyda are treated as sisters to Wolaitta, members like Gamo, Gofa, Malo, Zala are introduced as dialect variants of Wolaitta. This classification reduces the status of Gamo to be a dialect of Wolaitta, another member of the sub-group. Like Wolaitta, Gamo, Dawuro, Oyda, Gofa and Malo, are equally independent sister linguistic variants that need to be treated directly under the North Ometo sub-branch. Though they share significant amount of linguistic data, their ethno-linguistic identity strongly does not suggest for Wolaitta to be a subsuming cluster covering Gamo and the others. In his later publication, Bender (2000:7) seems to retain his earlier stand point to use Wolaitta as a cluster that represents “Wolaitta proper”, Gamo and some other members of the North Ometo sub-group. However, the rational for extending the name Wolaitta to cover the whole group that contains Gamo and many others is not clear. 

380 Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol, indicate that Gamo cannot be subsumed as a dialect of Wolaitta. The two can be considered as sisters that have emerged from one origin. The consideration of categorizing Gamo under Wolaitta has no ground and should be reconsidered. Gamo can rather be considered as a sister to members of the North Ometo such as Wolaitta, Dawuro, Gofa, Oyda. Despite significant the significant linguistic.

some parts of the northwest and south Ethiopia. The most popular dynasties of Wolayta, King Damote and King Mottolomi   have had their extended territory near the north west of Ethiopia. Beghe Midir, with the highest point Damot, in present Gojam is named after King Damote similar to the highest point mount Damot in Wolaita. “Tossa” meaning mighty or above all, is named as the highest point in the present Wollo, mount Tossa. The present day agew midir have a culture quite similar to that of Wolayta. The music and the exotic body dance of the Agew  is difficult to identify  from Wolayta for  an unfamiliar listener. In fact, the rhythm and the music of Agew are interchangeable with Wolayta.

In the present Ethiopia, Wolaytans are much closer to  Dawro, Gofa, Gamo, Kulo, Konta. Infact all these tribes are located in the Omo river basins and shares same or very similar culture, language and religion. In all the mentioned regions, a slight barier in dialect of the tongue Wolaytigna are spoken. 

similarities that Gamo and Wolaitta share, members of the two groups do not perceive themselves as heterogeneous groups rather than one homogenous group. Though, the mutual intelligibility findings show high level of relatedness, each group identifies itself and its language distinctly from the other. This situation could be explained by extra-linguistic factors such as linguistic experience and language attitude. This however needs an in-depth- future study.

The book Ethiopian history dictionary as accepts Woayita language has 80% lexical similarity to Gamo, Gofa, Dorze, and 40% to Malle and Koorete.




Who are Wolaytans? A short Chronicle on Origin of Wolayta, by Chuchu Abe  Posted on January 2, 2013 

Wolayta ( ወላይታ)  sometimes interchangeable with Wolaita is the name given to the inhabitants of north Omo basin in the Great Rift Valley of central south Ethiopia. The Etymology of the word Wolayta is not clear.However, it  speculated that the word Wolayta came from “Wolaheta”, meaning mixed, or the mixed people or it could be Wolayta means the leaf of Gagantic tree leaves means it has lots of branches. Therefore it is anticipated that Wolayta is the mixture of various groups (tribes) with diverse origin mainly from main land Abyssinia. The language of Wolayta is called Wolaitigna (ወላይትኛ) in Amharic or Wolaitatuwa in the local language. Historians classify these people as Omotic family which is one of the five language families in Ethiopia. This is because their settlement is parallel with the Omo River in the area. Wolaytans are considered to be the early inhabitants of the region with their own civilization, including their own currency. The historical location of Wolaita is different from the current location, especially with regard to the coverage area. As some historians suggest, the administrative area of Wolaita extends up to Rudolf River in the south and North Shewa in the northern part of the current Ethiopia. Before the integration of Ethiopia by Minilik II, Wolayta was led by the traditional Kings Monarchy. The last known king of Wolayta, Kawo Tona, from the Tigray dynasty was wounded and captured during the bloody war with the conquering troops of King Minelik, in 1880. Since then, Wolayta was governed by centralized governors appointed by Ethiopian emperors.  The historical legacy of the Wolayta dynasty is still visible in them. Wolayta has over 200 clans like other omotic tribes (Dawuro, Gamogofa, Kanbata, Keficho, etc...)  divided in to two main sub clans.  Most of the clans found in Wolayta are also found in the neighboring regions. Tigre, Wolayta Malla, Zirgo Malla, Hiziya, Weshesha, Amara (Amhara),  Homine,  Homi Girra, etc. are  among the major clans  in Wolayta. Most these clans are also  found in the neighboring regions of Wolaita. Some of the clans in Wolayta date back their ancestors to the major tribes in Ethiopia, such as Amhara, Tigre and Oromo. The Tigre clans in Wolaita are among the dominant clans next to Wolaita Mallas in leading the region for over thousand years. The notable kings from these clans include the famous dynasty of King Motolomi ,   from Wolaita Malla  and  King Damote and King Tona, the last King of Wolayta kingdom  during 1880’s from the Tigre dynasty.



“More than eight decades of ‘settler rule’ (‘neftegna sireat’) over the Southern Peoples starting from the reign of Emperor Menelik II to the downfall of Emperor Haile Selassie I in 1974 had decapitated most indigenous political structures of the Southern Peoples by removing the highest levels of traditional authority, but had not completely demolished them. The preservation of traditional authority in the form of “balabat” (‘chieftain’) helped cushion the blow and maintain continuity, while also facilitating the task of the rulers. Nevertheless, for several decades the relationship between northern settlers and southerners in this area had been that of master and subject, landlord and tenant, tax collector and tax payer. Above all, the horrors of Menelik’s conquest when the relatively unarmed tribesmen and women, old and young, were indiscriminately mown down by the emperor’s riflemen spread fear, trepidation, servility, abasement and despair among the southern peasantry. A Hadiya hero’s lamentations, following his close friends (Lachamo Gagabo) hanging by the Amhara because of Lachamo’s alleged engagement in slave trade, vividly explains the uselessness of resistance at the time in the following words:”

The past governments are registered these indigenous people for the sake of their personal benefit, to collect taxes, and for voting reason.  It also seems as if historians have also supported towards the governing class.

These damag was made by some historian may be because Southerners are the indigenous people in a sense they are nonhuman or their carelessness, we really don’t know but we will find out in the future. The historians ignored to write the true history of the indigenous people.

Some narrators are saying that, the Omotic people are not considered as one people. Even if they have the same ancestry, speaking the same language, same culture, same tradition, same facial appearance, same history, same origin and etc. Yes, we do know that the Gamo, Dorze, Ocholo, Sullaa, Docko, Azo, Barana etc... people are who made Dungaza (local handmade cloth) which all Dorezes, Gamos, Wolayitas dressing it. What is wrong with that? Even in Addis Ababa, we have all kinds of Gamo people who are making their living on weaving, but the society accepted that, all the people who live in weaving job assumed as Dorze. Some people thinking that Dorze as the local cloth, some are thinking Dorze is the Job, some are thinking Dorze is the tribe. It is not hurting the Dorze people’s history but the rest of Gamo people who are living on weaving businesses from the very biggning of weaving history. For me, Dorze, Gamo, Gofa, Wolayita, Dawuro, Kenbata, Koyira, Basketo, Yem, Sheko, Some of Guragies, and etc... are my people including any of southern people. If we could open our eyes, nothing would hurt anybody it is all about the history of southern people, everything in the south is belongs to us and we belongs to everything in the south. We have to be proud who we are, we should not copy things which are happened in other tribes.

 We have regularly conflict going on and on, because of grazing land, marriage related, farming land, robbery of cattle from different tribes to one another, (Example:-Docko Dalo fought with Doko Masho, Boreda fought with Wolayita, Kanbata fought with Maraqo, Sidama fought with Oromo or Burji, Benna fought with Tsami, Tsami fought with Konso, Maalle fought with Bena, Mursi fought with Geleb,      

 Documentation of the southern people. and etc means, made us different people? This kind of fighting is still existing in Ethiopia, mainly the war is based on temporary needs.

Let's see how the most recent wars are started and by who Some authors and feudal right wing shellfishes are part of the cause by saying and instigating:-

  1. Some of the southern people tribes are about to extict.
  2. The Wolayitas are very close to Sidamas, instead of Gamos, Gofas, Dawuros, Kenbatas, and etc
  3. The Dorze people are different from Gamo Gofa people. TheSothern indigenous people have lots of diversity, some of us have sematic and lots have Cushitic relations, because we havebeen living with Cushitic people for more than 7000 years and with Sematic about 4000 years.
  4. The Dorze people are the only Gamo people who accepted Orthodox religion that is why they are different from other Gamo peope.
  5. The Qucha People are not similar to Gamo, Gafa, Boreda, Daramalo, Dawuro, Malo, and Wolayita people.
  6. The Basketo, Malle, Mello, Qucha people are not the same as Gofa.
  7. The Gamo and Gofa are different people.
  8. The konso people are not same people as Gawada, Gidole, Darashe, Tsami, Arbore, and Birale people.
  9. The Hammar and Banna are not one people.
  10. The Sidama People are different from Gedeo, Kachama and Oromo people.
  11. The Kenbata people are different from Hadiya, Maraqo, and other southern people. Because their root is from king of Juda.
  12. The Musrsis are not similar to Geleb, Surma, and Dizi people.
  13. Some are wrote some story with full of degrading insult, which has more pain which we inherited from feudalism. Some writer’s documents are improving from time to time more closely to Semitic identity, but we don’t know why, if they are shay to be part of Southern people? If that is the reason, nobody could save the shaky marriage from divorce. Good luck. But the rest of us, it is time for us to open up our eyes and stand bold to secure our identity, dignity, and oneness by coming up with true scientific evidence of DNA to abolish all fake scientists or authors who are messing out history with their inferiority bridle.

Let’s see how many different tribes in Southern Omotic people of Ethiopia with their population, religion and ethnic code? This following document is taken from the following institute. Joshua Project welcomes corrections / updates to this data.  Please send feedback to: Joshua Project

PO Box 62614

Colorado Springs, CO 80962

Office: 719.886.4000                             

                                       GROUP ONE


Aari - 1.9%          358000       Christianity   CMT33d

 Basketo - 0.52%  97000       Christianity     CMT33d

 Bench - 2.34%     435000     Christianity     CMT33d

Dime - < 0.01%    1100        Christianity     CMT33d

Dizi - 0.23             43,000     Christianity      CMT33d

Anffilo                    4300        Islam             CMT33d

Oyda - 0.25%        56000       Christianity     CMT33d

Kafficho - 5.44%   1,068,000  Christianity     CMT33d

Sheko - 0.24%       46000         Christianity  CMT33d

Shakacho, Mocha- 0.44% 96000 Christianity  CMT33d

Chara - 0.08%       16,000     Ethnic religion   CMT33d

Yem/Yemse - 0.5% 198000    Christianity      CMT33d

 Begi-mao              26000       Islam             CMT33d

Gayil                      63,000      Christianity     CMT33d

Nao                        12000       Christianity      CMT33d 

Suri/Surma - 0.176,875      Ethnic religion        CMT33z

Seze                     5400       Ethnic religion      CMT33d


                                      GROUP TWO

 Gurage - 7.54% 1,867,377      Christianity      CMT33d

Silte - 5.37% 1,288,000  Christianity, Moslem  CMT33d

Alaba - 1.35%   287000            Islam              CMT33d

Kebena              65000          Islam                 CMT33d

 Kambaata - 3.82%  775,000  Christianity        CMT33d

Hadiya - 7.98% 1,568,000      Christianity         CMT33d

Libido,Mareqo 0.38%   79000   Islam                 CMT33d

Sidama - 19.38%   3,646,000   Christianity        CMT33d

Kachama, Haruro     3200         Ethnic religion    CMT33d

Baiso                 6800              Christianity         CMT33Z


                                GROUP THREE

Dorze             47,000     Christianity                CMT33z

 Gamo - 7%    1,364,000     Christianity            CMT33d

Goffa - 2.41% 447,000        Christianity            CMT33d

Male - 0.59% 121,000        Ethnic religion          CMT33d

Mello               36000            Christianity           CMT33d

Welayta - 10.59%  2,070,000  Christianity         CMT33d

 Zayse,Zergula -  0.1% 22000   Ethnic religion     CMT33d

Dawro - 3.28%    664,000        Christianity         CMT33d

Karo - 0.01%      1,800             Ethnic religion      CMT33d

Burji - 0.38%      114,000        Christianity           CMT33d

Bununji             118,000        Ethnic religion         CMT33d


                                            GROUP FOUR

 Arbore - 0.04% 9000          Ethnic Religion          CMT33Z

 Birale          100                 Ethnic religion           CMT33Z

 Konso - 1.47%  311000         Christianity            CMT33d

Gawwada - 0.43% 85,000  Ethnic religion            CMT33d

Gidole           51,000           Christianity               CMT33d

Gedeo - 4.9% 1,205,000     Christianity               CMT33d

Tsamai - 0.13% 25000       Ethnic religion             CMT33d

                                          GROUP FIVE

Busa Dobasa           24,000    Christianity            CMT33d

Bodi - 0.04%            56,585    Ethnic religion       CMT33Z

Daasanach - 0.32% 48,067    Ethnic religion         CMT33Z

Ganza                        3400    Ethnic religion         CMT33d

 Hamar, Bena 0.31% 91,000    Ethnic religion        CMT33d

Iraqw                           641,000 Ethnic religion      CMT33C

Mursi - 0.05%            7,500     Ethnic religion          CMT33c

 Nyangatom - 0.12% 30,000   Ethnic religion          CMT33c

 Shinasha Borna       77,000   Christianity               CMT33d

Koorete - 1.02%    194000      Christianity             CMT33d

On the above document if you can see about the Dorze ethnic code, the researchers are not right because code CMT33z and Gamo CMT33d. So I questioned the researchers about this document: -

 From: Fanta Joba [mailto:webform@joshuaproject.net] 

In the above document if you can see about the Dorze ethnic code, the researchers are not right because code CMT33z and Gamo CMT33d. So I questioned the researchers about this document: -

From: Fanta Joba [mailto:webform@joshuaproject.net] 

Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2014 11:40 PM

To: JP

Subject: JP General Inquiry

Name: Fanta Joba

Email: fozia@shaw.ca


Hello everyone? In the future we are happy to help you on original documents like history of religion, culture, olden day's administration, origin, schooling and etc... or you can get enough info from our website which we are publishing in a few days.

Dear Sir/Madam. My question is based on the Dorze Ethnic group. Today people are on the verge conflict based on the differences which came through ethnic code and other minor cases.The people of Dorze and Gamo have no single differences except the ethnic code, Dorze CMT33z and Gamo CMT33d. I believe the DNA which is collected from the people is are not from Dorze but somebody else. Today, here is my question. Please, is there any means, if you could go with us, or send people with us or go yourself to re-screen the DNA of the people of Southern Ethiopia? Not only Dorze people, but also we are very much eager to understand the Wolayita, Kenbata, Maraqo, Hadiya and inner Guragie people? It will save life and claims unity.

Thank you

Truly yours Fanta Joba.

The answer:

Thank you for writing to us, Fanta Joba.

It’s distressing to learn our data may cause “people [to be] on the verge of war”.

Ethnic code CMT33d includes ethnic groups in this ethnic category:  Cushitic / Sidamo

Ethnic code CMT33z includes ethnic groups in this category:  Cushitic / other-Cushitic

Please understand our groupings in these categories was not done with a high degree of scientific precision. We did not use DNA analysis. Much of this work was done based on languages-spoken, that is, the language trees that show how languages relate to each other.It’s really not possible for us to be precisely accurate in these categorizations. We don’t have the skill needed, and we don’t have ways to collect the vast amount of information that would be needed.  And for our purposes, precise categorizations are not needed.

We’re sorry if our categorizations for the Dorze and Gamo peoples have caused distress. I hope people will realize these are broad categorizations, not precise, and will not insist on a level of precision we are unable to provide.

Bill Morrison

Joshua Project

There are also some politicians who are from our own indigenous people (who have mixed marriage, who were worked with Atse's regime, ex-ESEPA cadres, angry with the current government based on their personal interest, supporters of the opposition group  and etc...) are trying to manipulate and divide our people for their anarchic political cheap game.

In 1969 these people agitated the poor Dorze youth to join the EPRP (ኢሒአፓ) camp and made them to fight the Derg regime with their wrong plan, and many of the Dorze kids ended up in jail. Today they are igniting fire among our people for the sake of power. If they wishe to change government, they can make their decision, let them get out and give their vote, voting is every one's right not being bought or shared, or making discussed with any other person. You have to vote, the people whom can stand for the need of your great grand children's future. If you listen to the people who abused and divid your people, you are enslaving yourself. Theyre still calling people by the wrong names directly and indirectly. If you give your vote for your abusers and their grand children who are dreaming old days cheap labour and free land, then it is your mistake not their mistake. We must free many of our people not few of them.

Today, they have nothing to say about our past, present, and future. Today they are approaching you through religion, you must know and be smart. Religion was there, when the Americans, British, Arabs and etc… are selling human being as talking animal. It never saved the people from being sold. Religion is your faith not your freedom,

At this moment we are not saying any bad things to them, we are saying that even if, if you hurt me, we livid together many years with you, so let's live together, we will forgive you; but their response is, if I am not the leader of you, I can't live with you! Is it not ill fated and correcteble right away?

These people are not thinking about the freedom of all, instead they have to save their bossy life of few. Today they are trying to speak on behalf of us, I don’t know what they are thinking? Still they don't think that, we can represent ourselves. They never hoped for our superiority, but undermining us and giving us bad names and degrading our identity. Not the wellbeing of our people, but to see divided Gamo Gofa, and all Southern in whole. They don't want prospered future of our Gamo Gofa and all Southern people, but they dream to us is, make them rich, and make us poor. Not make us united but make us divided. The theory which Atse Minilik and Haile Selassie weak oppressive administration applied on us. Today they are talking about very little area people to focus on our minor differences, they don't want us to think vast major problem. The divisive theory which they created earlier is, still hurting us today deeper and wider. These people have brain washed the southern people with the so called cultural musical festival as a tool to erase the mentality which we gained from X-Government over our identity and to scoop our freedom. Before they clear their biased idea, they must have to divide us. These kind of elite people are seen in Gamogofa, Kenbata, Sidama, Guragie, and Wolayita, even among Nilotic Omotic people. Today they have to know that, we have no free labour and fertile land to be exploited by these little feudal grandchildren. We have to say them stop divisive and biased research which threatening our survival. 

In this incidence, my advice to all Nation and Nationalities of Southern people, we are one, we have to work together by breaking down our minor differences, by caring, sharing and strengthening our culture, tradition, language, and etc…to prosper economically, socially, and politically our birth place south. We have no time to listen to the neft who are diverting our main goal and freedom agenda towards the minor Dunguza ownership. Yes Dunguza is made in Gamo people, but if the Wolayitas, Yems are using it, we have to claim our ownership but not refusing people to dress our local cloth. We have to solve this argument at local elders meeting or midiation through government body or legally in court. Is Wolayitas, Dawuro, Gofas, Yems, Kenbatas, Hadiyas, Enner Guragies, Koyiras are not our people? Yes they are and they have full right to dress our cloth. We have to focus on our major question which is freedom. If we lose our freedom, there is no way to argue about our culture and tradition. Our freedom is our priorit


           Dubamo Kanbata.

kanbata elers.

 PART ONE:Some Historical and Politico-Legal Records of the Kambata Polity and People of Southwestern Ethiopia

 ByTesfaye Habisso,  August 2008

Introductory Remarks“History is for human self- knowledge. Knowing yourself means knowing, first, what it is to be person; secondly, knowing what it is to be the kind of person you are; and thirdly, knowing what it is to be the person you are and nobody else is . Knowing yourself means knowing what you can do; and since nobody knows what they can do until they try, the only clue to what man can do is what man has done. The value of history, then, is that it teaches us what man has done and thus what man is.” (R.G. Collingwood).From time immemorial Ethiopia had been a museum of many peoples of diverse origins. For me as well for many Ethiopians, a comprehensive history of these peoples has always been a kind of romantic, unreachable dream. No historian has yet attempted to tackle this challenging task.Most of the hitherto written history of Ethiopia which begins in the later Middle Ages from the pens of monks and court historians and whose main purpose is the laudation of Abyssinian kings does not deal with the comprehensive history of Ethiopia and the Ethiopians at large. It does not particularly touch upon the history of the regions and peoples incorporated by Emperor Menelik II to the Ethiopian Empire-state towards the end of the 19th century.These regions, though they had their own independent kingdoms and sultanates as well as loosely confederated traditional polities, had no written languages of their own; they had no court historians and thus no written history. Hence it will be the duty of historians, particularly those from these regions, to write the history of their peoples so that the history of modern Ethiopia will be complete. Many outsiders had attempted to write the history of Ethiopia and the Ethiopians based on inadequate data and information, and sometimes relying on secondary sources and hearsay. On this point the Ethiopians themselves, I believe, would/should have quite a bit to say and say it clear and loud now.This manuscript on the history of the Kambata polity and people however is not a pioneering historical document or research work produced by me; it is primarily a compilation of scattered secondary or written source material recorded by missionaries and monks, professional historians, jurists, administrators and politicians concerning this part of Ethiopia which, I hope, will help for writing in the future a comprehensive history of the people. Be this as it may, writing the history of any people, most of all the history of a non-literate people, is a very difficult and sensitive issue—a complex and complicated project fraught with controversies and disagreements. As The Universal World Reference Encyclopaedia cautions:“Since history is concerned with human activity, and since human activity expresses itself in a variety of ways, there are histories that correspond to these diverse expressions. To write about any individual or [group] or field of human endeavour a historian must do more than chronicle events, names, and dates. These are but the crude makings of history; they must be refined through an intellect and imagination capable of relating one to another, rejecting the unimportant, and highlighting that which will throw the subject into a proper perspective. Thus the gathering of information is but a small part of the historian’s task. Even while he is collecting his sources and extracting information from them, he must be concerned with their trustworthiness. Indeed, the historian must forever be on guard against bias in any source that he uses. In addition, as he begins to write his own history, he must be as fair to the facts as he has expected his sources to have been. Of course, the history that he writes will be conditioned by his temperament, including his preconceptions, as much as by the motive and purpose of his research. These variations in human temperament and motives help to explain the frequent multitude of histories on one subject, and temperament and motives are greatly influenced by the period in which a historian lives. All written history is a compound of past and present. Thus, there are no final analyses in history, no universally accepted conclusions. History can be made to serve every conceivable theory and temperamental peculiarity….” [The Universal World Reference Encyclopaedia, Consolidated Book Publishers, Chicago, 1964, Vol. VII, P. 2477]It is taking into considerations the above-mentioned precautions and guidelines that this compiled historical account on the Kambata polity and people must be perused and utilized as a source material for further research. My modest attempt to present a short history of Kambata—a region and a people long known by this name—is based on oral traditions and legends, and some written records. I present this history of the Kambata people not for personal fame and glory, nor for riches, nor honours but for choosing to be who I am and the recognition and respect of my ethnic and cultural identity, which no good man gives up except with his/her soul, his/her cultural identity and liberty. As the first President of the Republic of Botswana, Sir Seretse Khama, once said:“A nation without a past is a lost nation. And a people without a past is a people without a soul.”I wish someone better qualified than myself had met this need, but suggestions and persuasions in many directions have so far produced no satisfactory results. Besides, I remember quite well the bitter memories of Abebe Abura when he published a small booklet entitled, “ A Short History of Kambata” (in Amharic) some three decades ago; he was unmercifully criticized and condemned by many Kambata and Hadiya elites/scholars for writing allegedly inaccurate and fictitious history of these peoples. No one appreciated, at least, his maiden effort in writing the history of the Kambata and Hadiya peoples. Again, no one forwarded any constructive critique on the book except negative and destructive condemnation. Ever since that time no Hadiya or Kambata historian or any other intellectual in the area of the social sciences better qualified for the task has committed himself/herself and his/her energy, time and resources to write a less controversial and a more consensual sort of history, so to speak, of either Hadiya or Kambata, or both. This is a paradox no one can decipher: Don’t we want our written history? Don’t we have the conviction and desire to write it? Why oppose or condemn any effort, however unpalatable that may be to some, when some of our own scholars or patriotic citizens try to write about their peoples? After all, there is no history that is, and can be, written once and for all, and this is true for any research output in the field of the social sciences in general. No one can claim to have the ultimate wisdom in any area of intellectual pursuit; we are all fallible. The search for more and more knowledge is a continuous process. No one is omniscient and all knowing. This naked truth should guide us all when we endeavour to produce or peruse any historical document in particular. Furthermore, as the eminent Indian historian Dr. R.C. Majumbar wrote: "...history should express the truth, without fear, envy, malice, passion or prejudice and irrespective of all extraneous considerations."This comment precisely sums up what is expected of a historian when he writes down a narration or a book. He further emphasizes that the "sole aim" of the history is to find the truth by following the canons commonly accepted as sound by all historians." Whether the past history glorifies anyone or is full of ugly incidents, the future generations must be told. There is no shame in telling the truth.Call it ethnic nationalism or label it by any other connotation, I want to see the written history of my people. I believe every individual must be proud of his people and his ethnic nationality; so also his ethnic and civic nationalism as well in order to mobilize human and material resources for development baed on equality and economic justice. And because the history of my people has not yet been dealt with at length by any historian so far, I earnestly seek to provide to the public any available information, oral or written, that might help to fill this vacuum.As mentioned earlier in this manuscript, Ethiopia had been, and still is, a museum of many peoples of diverse origins, customs, cultures, religions/faiths and other peculiarities, but not a museum of many written histories of these peoples. There are no people without history; large or small every people has its past, its present and its future history. This is what the Southern Ethiopians in general and the Kambata in particular must be fully aware of; they must also be aware of the fact that they and their peoples are no less, no better Ethiopian than the rest of their countrymen and women; they must write their histories in order to avoid an identity crisis for themselves and their children. It is in this spirit that I attempted to compile this brief history of the Kambata people.Certainly I do not claim that the picture presented in the following pages, built out of a mosaic of evidence from historical records, from contemporary documents and many living witnesses, is wholly accurate and I should welcome any corrections that informed readers can offer me. This manuscript is a provisional and interim venture; it will fulfil its purpose if it provokes the writing of a definitive or a less controversial work and if it fills the gap until that is done.This manuscript is divided into three sections. Part One deals with a brief history of the Kambata polity and people from the 13th to the 20th century, and Part Two narrates some aspects of this history that unfolded during the 17th century in particular. Part Three deals with structures of state and monarchy, and social and legal systems prevailing in traditional Kambata society.The Background: Kambata as the ‘Melting Pot’ of Ethiopian SocietyHow and when the name ‘Kambata’ came into being and what it means is not adequately explained by written historical records. According to oral accounts, some say that the name ‘Kambata’ was first given by the Oromos and it meant, “we have surrounded you; how can you get out of your encirclement?” This encirclement by the Oromo may probably imply the period of the Oromo expansions and the numerous wars fought between the Oromos and the Sidama peoples (Sidamo, Hadiya, Wolayta, Kambata, Gedeo, etc.) in the years 1550-70 and later. This oral tradition does not seem to reconcile with written historical records which confirm the existence of Kambata as a kingdom in the 14th century and earlier. Another oral tradition recounts that the name Kambata was given by the first inhabitants of this area themselves, known in Kambata oral history as the “Ambericho Seven” (‘Ambericho lamala’), who were a group of seven wondering tribes of the Sidama-Gedeo/Omotic peoples, namely Gozuta, Ebbejena, Effegena, Tazuta, Hinnira, Bazata and Saga. It is said that when these seven groups reached the area around the Ambericho massif they found the place very suitable for human settlement and decided to settle there. They said,“this is the place where we shall live”, “this is a place of our choice” (in Kambata language “he’nnamibu kembati” and thus the name Kambata). Another oral account says that the name ‘Kambata’ was adopted from Kambato who was the son of Kokato; Kokato was the first migrant from Sidamaland who occupied the Ambericho area in today’s Kambata and had a son named Kambato who in turn had seven children who established an alliance known as “Kokati Kambata”. It is also said that Kokato later returned to Sidamo [Annulo Jofe, a Kambata informant and one of the first pioneers who introduced modern education to Kambata]. According to the eminent and well known poet-laureate, Tsegaye Gebre Medhin, “Kambata” means “land of Cam or Cush”; “this is the land of Cam” (personal communication in 1994).Be this as it may, modern Ethiopia in general and Kambata in particular is the product of many centuries of interaction and intermingling amongst many cultural-linguistic communities, groups and individuals of diverse origins. The Ethiopians are indeed a mixed people, so also the Kambata. The only shortcoming on our part is that we don’t know enough how mixed we are, that is, about our shared identity and history. If we had known enough about this aspect of our shared identity and history, and taught and passed this to our younger generation, we wouldn’t have confronted or faced many of the intractable ethnic problems that we are facing today.“The Kambata are an ethnic group dwelling on the lip of the rift valley about 350 miles south of Addis Abeba in south-western Ethiopia. The Kambata are bordered on the north by the Hadiya and Alaba, on the south by the Tembaro and Wolayta, on the west by the Wolayta and Hadiya, and on the east by the Billate river, which separates them from the Arsi Oromo.They are predominantly sedentary agriculturalists cultivating ensete edulis and some grains. Because of the ensete cultivation, which is carried out in close proximity to the residence, closely clustered villages predominate throughout the area. The Kambata, like other southern Ethiopian peoples, were independent from the centralized Amhara structure prior to the conquests of Menelik II, 1889-1905.” [Ulrich Braukamper, DIE KAMBATA, 1983]Based on oral accounts and traditions, Kambata indeed can be called the “melting pot” of Ethiopian society. According to the New World Dictionary, by the “melting pot” we mean a “country, place, or area, in which immigrants of various nations /nationalities are assimilated into one main/dominant culture”. Kambata as the “melting pot” of Ethiopian society was well illustrated by the former balabat (woma or king) of Kambata, Fitawrari Bargano Mollisso (1920-47) in the following words:“--- Whence came all these people? They came from the lands of the Amhara, the Galla [Oromo], the Sidama , the Darassa [Gedeo] , the Wolammo [Wolayta], the Gudela [Hadiya], the Gamo, the Zubamo [Dubamo], the Gurage, the Tembaro, the Donga, etc. They are a mixture of all these peoples--- What, then, is the Kambata, this new man? He is neither an Amhara nor a Galla [Oromo ] or a Wolammo [Wolayta]; he is neither a Sidama nor a Darassa [Gedeo] or a Gudela [Hadiya], etc; hence that mixture of blood which , you will find in no other region or province. I could point out to you a family whose grandfather was an Ongota (of Amhara origin) whose wife was a Gabara (of Oromo origin) , whose son married a Doda- Annimanna (Badawacho Hadiya), and whose present four sons have now four wives of different clans claiming diverse origins—a Jumma (Sidama), a Wereza(Azernet- Berbere), a Bubulla (Wolayta) and a Borodamalla (Gamo) respectively. He is a Kambata, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices, affiliations, roots and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds--- The Kambata were once scattered all over Ethiopia; here they are incorporated into one system of population, forming a microcosm of Ethiopian society.”. [ Fitawrari Bargano Mollisso Hellamo, balabat (woma or king ) of Kambata (ca. 1920-47) replying to Dejazmach Meshesha Wolde Ashagre, the then Governor of Kambata province(1920-35) representing the central government in Addis Ababa who asked the former how more than 100 different clans or groups claiming different origins but now speaking the same Kembatigna language (“Kambatiaffo”) occupy Kambataland; as told to the author by Dagna Bafutte Didanna, a close relative of the Kambata king and an elderly Oyeta notable well known throughout the Kambata, Hadiya, Wolayta, Gurage and Alaba areas, in 1986]. As expressed clearly by the former balabat (king) of Kambata here above, more than one hundred (100) groups and individuals that later formed the various sub-groups and clans of the Kambata nation, migrated to the Kambata region from different parts of Ethiopia and at different times over a long period spanning many hundreds of years in the past. As claimed by the founding fathers or clan elders or leaders of the respective groups themselves, they migrated from different regions of Ethiopia. The names of the major clans and their claimed origin of migration as well as the general list of all clans inhabiting the Kambata-Tembaro territory is indicated in Appendix I and II at the end of this manuscript (see Appendix I & II).As a political unit as well as a geographic region, the name Kambata refers to an ancient polity that extended from the Bilate River including Alaba in the east to the Omo (Gibe) River in the west in today’s South-Western Ethiopia. For a long time, even before the polity was annexed by the Abyssinian Christian Empire in the 15th century, this region was well known as the Kingdom of Kambata (Cambat). This covered the whole area which is now occupied by the Kambata, the Hadiya, the Alaba, the Donga, the Tembaro. As will be explained later, in the 13th and 14th centuries, these peoples were part and parcel of the State of Damot- Ennariya that also included other peoples such as Damot, Ganz, Gafat, Kaffa, Kullo, Konta, Wolayta, Maraqo, Yem, Garo, Azernete-Berbere and Enner Gurage(Ennariya). In the aftermath of the Christian war against the Moslem invasions led by the fierce and dreaded warrior Gragn Ahmed (1529-43) this region was governed by Ras (Abetohun ) Hamalmal who was appointed as Governor by emperor Galawdewos (1540-59), with an obligation of showing his utmost allegiance to the imperial court in Gondar. However, his rule over the region was effectively weakened by the Oromo wars and migrations that swept across the whole country soon after the demise of Imam Gragn Ahmed at the battle of Woina Dega in 1543. Subsequently, the State of Damot- Ennariya disintegrated into its component parts and separate entities subsequently took shape and emerged in the wake of its total fragmentation. Many peoples such as the Ganz, Gafat Damot, Maya and others disappeared from the map of Ethiopia. They were all completely absorbed and assimilated by the Oromo invaders; a few migrating to northern Shoa and elsewhere. On the other hand , in the south, the Gurage, the Sidama, the Wolayta, the Kambata, the Hadiya, the Gamo, the Goffa, the Gedeo, the Tembaro, the Dubamo, the Donga and many others fiercely resisted the Oromo but as in the central and northern highlands, they were compelled to yield at least some territory. Whatever the case, they were able to resist Oromo rule and assimilation and to maintain their identity intact and to establish their own states ruled by their own respective kings, abagadas and sultans since then, up until they were all conquered again by Emperor Menelik II of Abyssinia in 1890-93 and annexed to the Christian empire-state. That was also how Hamalmal’s governorship was reduced from his wider and far more significant vassalship over half of the State of Damot Ennariya before the onset of the Moslem and Oromo wars to the small Kingdom of Kambata during the 17th century. The Oromo migrations and wars resulted in the weakening of both Christian and Moslem power and drove a wedge between the two faiths along the eastern edge of the highlands. Thus the Abyssinian Christian Empire lost all its former jurisdictions over the State of Damot- Ennariya, including Kambata and many others for over four hundred solid years.The Kambata, Dubamo, Donga and Tembaro peoples who have a population of about 747,307 (according to the 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia, CSO, Vol.1 Addis Abeba, p.66), are jointly referred to as the “Kambata peoples” but in my analysis they are generally mentioned separately under their respective names. They occupy an area of about 1,200 square kilometres, largely more than 2,000 meters above sea-level, between the Omo (Gibe) and the middle Bilate rivers.The language of the Kambata peoples, together with that of the Alaba (population 125,900; 1994 CSO census) and Qabena (population 35,072; 1994 CSO census) forms a branch of “Highland East Cushitic.” They are peasants who conduct intensive agriculture, their principal crops being barley, cabbage, legumes and ensete ventricosum. Their settlements are in some cases over- populated (population density being about 300 people per square kilometre); and many inhabitants therefore are obliged to seek a living in other parts of Ethiopia. Augmenting this social mobility in search of livelihoods elsewhere, the Kambata have developed over a long period of time remarkable survival strategies and abilities to adjust to different and harsh environments and these qualities are well noted by many historians and social researchers. And this is also the glaring reality one can easily observe among the Kambata peoples in their own localities where one can witness a person who is alternately a farmer, a teacher, a butcher, a merchant, etc. at the same time thus trying to diversify his/her means of survival.Be this as it may, resolving the problem of over-population in the Kambata province was traditionally attempted to be eased by the sole effort of the people themselves who moved out of their homeland as migrant labourers to the Awash valley agricultural farms (Wonji, Metehara, Abadir, etc.); to Maraqo as cultivators and collectors of “berbere” spice; to the Kaffa areas as collectors of coffee beans; and to many parts of Ethiopia in southern, south- western and south- eastern regions where employment opportunities were available. The problem had also been attempted to be resolved by successive regimes of Ethiopia through resettlement schemes, though many of these were not successful as they were not well planned and properly implemented, and most of all, not designed with the full participation and collaboration of the peoples at the receiving end. Nevertheless, the number of the Kambata, Tembaro, Qabena and Alaba who live in the SNNP Region itself is 443,525, 84,918, 28,584 and 117,449 respectively [1994 Housing and Population Census, p.74] and over fifty thousands live interspersed among the various nations and nationalities of Ethiopia, according to the same CSA accounts.PART ONE- A Brief History of the Kambata Polity from the 13th-20th CenturyIn the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the regions on both sides of the Omo (Gibe) river belonged to the State of Damot-Ennariya which was annexed by the Abyssinian Christian Empire of northern Ethiopia. Christianity was introduced to this region during the reign of Emperor Sarsa Dengel (1563-97). Kambata was then one of the provinces of this State. According to the Arab historians Al’Umari (c.1345) and Maqrizi (1434) however, Kambata was part of the Moslem state of Hadiya that also included the “Galla [Oromo]states of the Gibe, and the Sidama peoples Gudela [Hadiya], Tambaro, Alaba, and Wolamo [Wolayta]” {Ernesta Cerulli, “History of the Sidama Countries”, Peoples of South-West Ethiopia and Its Borderland, 1956, p. 85}. The first reference to Kambata as a political unit is found in a praise song in honour of Emperor Yeshak (1414-29) who annexed it as a province of the Christian Ethiopian Empire. In this song it is stated that Kambata was a country in which horses were bred and which paid tribute in horses to Ethiopia {CGA, song 2, line 43}-- something for which it has been noted up to the present day. The conquest was accompanied by the settlement of military colonists (chawa) from northern Ethiopia, mainly Amhara, and by a Christian missionary campaign. According to Manoel Almeida’s “History of High Ethiopia or Abassia 1628-46”, Book I, Ch. 2, p. 9, Kambata was one of the 36 kingdoms of the Abyssinian Empire that were controlled by the Abyssinian emperors preceding Emperor Susneyos (1607-32); the latter had little control over them due to the Oromo expansions and settlements cutting them off from their link with the Christian north. Another Portuguese Jesuit Pedro Paez confirms the same number of kingdoms with some modifications of the list. The patriarch Mendes in his Expedito Aethiopica, Book I, ch. I also states that Kambata was one of the more important regions of the ancient Christian empire located at latitude 7 degree north. Historical records confirm that Manz, Marrabete, Ganz, Gafat, Yifat, Hadiya, Kambata, Bale, Ennarya, and Gurage were some of the ancient southern kingdoms under the loose control of the Abyssinian Empire [Manoel Almeida, Ibid, p. 9].Towards the end of the fifteenth century the population of the region known later as Kambata Province (Awraja Gizat), between the Omo and the Bilate rivers, consisted essentially of three ethnically and socio-economically distinct strata. At the bottom were the Fuga, the Awado and the Saga, castes of potters, black-smiths, tanners and hunters whose ancestors may have been among the earliest inhabitants of the region. Above them were a broad stratum of cultivators, who as clan names and other indicators suggest, most probably belonged to the Sidama and Omotic-speaking peoples from the south. The upper stratum consisted of the Semitic speaking military colonists from northern Ethiopia, who evidently acquired not only in politics but also in the cultural fields an importance disproportionate to their relatively small numbers, thus creating an unjust ranked society which eventually led to a rebellion by those who were victims of such injustice and subjugation.. In fact, the influence of the Christian Abyssinian Empire on southern Ethiopia, politically and culturally, had been quite significant. Besides, many ruling dynasties of southern Ethiopian states claimed Amhara or Tigray descent: Kaffa, Kambata, Wolayta, Zay, Amarro-Koyra, Janjero [Yem], Dorze, Gamo, Bosha, Gurage, etc. {Haberland, Journal of Semitic Studies, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1964, pp. 235-8].Soon after the outbreak of the Holy War (Jihad) of the Muslims of the State of Adal under Imam Ahmad G. Ibrahim al-Ghazi (Gragn Ahmed) against the Christian Ethiopian Empire in 1529, Kambata too became a battlefield. In 1532, the Adal Commander Abd an-Nasir conquered the province from the southeast. According to oral testimony, however, Christians who survived this conquest retired to the summit of the Ambarricho massif and saved their ritual objects. The province suffered such heavy loss of life that it became in the course of the sixteenth century an attractive target for invaders from the southeast.In the wake of the troops of Abd an-Nasir, semi-nomadic Hadiya groups from Dallo (Bale), called Weto-gira (Gudela), migrated into the region between the Omo and the Bilate. From 1570 (if not earlier), the Oromo began to break out of their original homeland between the upper Ganale and upper Dawa and to exert pressure on the surrounding peoples. Unable to conquer the Sidama highlands, which were already relatively densely populated, they bypassed them in their great expansion towards the east; yet indirectly they caused some groups to emigrate from the region. Oral traditions state explicitly that in about the middle of the sixteenth century, the Effegenna, Ebejenna and Goromma fled northwards from the Sidama-Gedeo (Darassa) region in order to avoid Oromo rule. They settled on the Ambarricho massif in Kambata joining the earlier settlers from the Sidama-Darassa regions already living there, and being relatively populous groups, introduced their Highland East Cushitic language to Kambata. A related language was that of the ancestors of the Tembaro, who came from Yemererra in the central Sidama highlands and reached their present territory after a long migration through Alaba, Bosha and Dawro. At roughly the same time, i.e. between c. 1550-70, the ancestors of the Dubamo and the Donga, said in oral traditions to have been Christians, were on the move. Their origin can be traced back to Qawena in the eastern Sidama highlands. It can be assumed that the settlement of these groups in Kambata resulted in a marked supremacy of Highland East Cushitic languages, whilst Omotic and Semitic were pushed back to steadily shrinking linguistic islands and to their eventual extinction. In the economic sphere a differentiation emerged between the highlands, which were occupied by ensete farmers, and in the middle and lower regions, Hadiya nomads of the Weto-gira tribe grazed their livestock.As mentioned earlier, in the aftermath of the Christian empire’s victorious war against Gragn Ahmed(1529-1543) and the latter’s demise at the battle of Woine Dega in 1543, Emperor Galawdeos appointed Ras (Abetohun) Htamelmal as governor of half of the kingdom of Ennarya that also included Kambata then. As Atme G.M. reminisces:“Being the descendant of kings and the bearer of the title abetohun, Ras Hamalmal, in that period, ruled half of the kingdom of Ennarya, namely Kambat[a], Walamo [Wolayta], Kullo, Konta, Zanzaro [Yem], Garo, Ennar’ot as far as Barbare-Meder, including Maraqo , and on the other side as far as Kafa. Chawa (soldiers) were posted with their respective commanders in all these plac under their respective commanders they failed to assist one another when the Moslems and Galla came. They split up under their respective commanders and localities. They also differed highly from one another in language. The mother tongue of Kafa, Kullo, Konta, Walamo, Kambata, Maraqo, and Zanjaro, Garo and Enar’at is Ennarya, and they all resemble each other. The unity in language and religion can clearly be seen today.” [Atme G.M. (Tafla) O.J.:71f].Abetohun (Ras) Hamalmal (1551-1614), as historical records confirm, was the grand-son of Emperor Naod (1494-1508) through his mother Romanewerq, daughter of the Emperor [Basset 1882-116]. He was also one of the key generals of Emperor Gelawdewos (1540-59) who undertook several war expeditions to different parts of the country to oust the remnants of Gragn Ahmed from the Christian strongholds. In 1559, he was ordered, with another general Ras Fassil to attack Harar which was at the time the major center of Islam. This expedition is well illustrated by Atme G.M. in the following words:“The Negus [Gallawdewos] gave an order that Ras Fassil and Ras Hamalmal, the Governor of Kambata, should invade Hararge. He has disbanded the remainder of his army and did not have time to mobilize it. Furthermore, the clergy was urging him on with the great promise: ‘Should you fall into the hands of Nur Muhammad [Amir Nur b. Mujahid; the still resisting and strongest general of Gragn Ahmed after the latter’s death] you will become a martyr and reign in heaven.’ Thus he led an expedition into the country of Adal, where he died at a place called Nach-Sar on the border of Wallo. Ras Fassil and Ras Hamalmal set out from Kambata via Malka Amhara and Annya and reached Adari (Harari). In those days, the sultan of Harar was Habib, who was in his time a great and dreaded man. They fought a fierce battle in the plain named Sayyedna-Hasheem at the Yarar-Gate. Sultan Habib died, and Ras Hamalmal entered Adari, burned it and demolished all the mosques. In short, he wrought great destruction and then returned home. He had not yet heard of the death of Atse Galawdewos” [Atme G.M.(Tafla ) O.J.:29].Soon afterwards the Oromo invasions and migrations marked the eclipse of the Moslem onslaughts against the Abyssinian Christian Empire and the latter had to make futile attempts at curbing waves after waves of Oromo warriors invading and forcefully occupying many territories inside and outside of the Christian and Moslem jurisdiction and control of the day but to no avail.

 The unity in language and religion can clearly be seen today.” [Atme G.M. (Tafla) O.J.:71f].Abetohun (Ras) Hamalmal (1551-1614), as historical records confirm, was the grand-son of Emperor Naod (1494-1508) through his mother Romanewerq, daughter of the Emperor [Basset 1882-116]. He was also one of the key generals of Emperor Gelawdewos (1540-59) who undertook several war expeditions to different parts of the country to oust the remnants of Gragn Ahmed from the Christian strongholds. In 1559, he was ordered, with another general Ras Fassil to attack Harar which was at the time the major center of Islam. This expedition is well illustrated by Atme G.M. in the following words:“The Negus [Gallawdewos] gave an order that Ras Fassil and Ras Hamalmal, the Governor of Kambata, should invade Hararge. He has disbanded the remainder of his army and did not have time to mobilize it. Furthermore, the clergy was urging him on with the great promise: ‘Should you fall into the hands of Nur Muhammad [Amir Nur b. Mujahid; the still resisting and strongest general of Gragn Ahmed after the latter’s death] you will become a martyr and reign in heaven.’ Thus he led an expedition into the country of Adal, where he died at a place called Nach-Sar on the border of Wallo. Ras Fassil and Ras Hamalmal set out from Kambata via Malka Amhara and Annya and reached Adari (Harari). In those days, the sultan of Harar was Habib, who was in his time a great and dreaded man. They fought a fierce battle in the plain named Sayyedna-Hasheem at the Yarar-Gate. Sultan Habib died, and Ras Hamalmal entered Adari, burned it and demolished all the mosques. In short, he wrought great destruction and then returned home. He had not yet heard of the death of Atse Galawdewos” [Atme G.M.(Tafla ) O.J.:29].Soon afterwards the Oromo invasions and migrations marked the eclipse of the Moslem onslaughts against the Abyssinian Christian Empire and the latter had to make futile attempts at curbing waves after waves of Oromo warriors invading and forcefully occupying many territories inside and outside of the Christian and Moslem jurisdiction and control of the day but to no avail.

The unity in language and religion can clearly be seen today.” [Atme G.M. (Tafla) O.J.:71f].Abetohun (Ras) Hamalmal (1551-1614), as historical records confirm, was the grand-son of Emperor Naod (1494-1508) through his mother Romanewerq, daughter of the Emperor [Basset 1882-116]. He was also one of the key generals of Emperor Gelawdewos (1540-59) who undertook several war expeditions to different parts of the country to oust the remnants of Gragn Ahmed from the Christian strongholds. In 1559, he was ordered, with another general Ras Fassil to attack Harar which was at the time the major center of Islam. This expedition is well illustrated by Atme G.M. in the following words:“The Negus [Gallawdewos] gave an order that Ras Fassil and Ras Hamalmal, the Governor of Kambata, should invade Hararge. He has disbanded the remainder of his army and did not have time to mobilize it. Furthermore, the clergy was urging him on with the great promise: ‘Should you fall into the hands of Nur Muhammad [Amir Nur b. Mujahid; the still resisting and strongest general of Gragn Ahmed after the latter’s death] you will become a martyr and reign in heaven.’ Thus he led an expedition into the country of Adal, where he died at a place called Nach-Sar on the border of Wallo. Ras Fassil and Ras Hamalmal set out from Kambata via Malka Amhara and Annya and reached Adari (Harari). In those days, the sultan of Harar was Habib, who was in his time a great and dreaded man. They fought a fierce battle in the plain named Sayyedna-Hasheem at the Yarar-Gate. Sultan Habib died, and Ras Hamalmal entered Adari, burned it and demolished all the mosques. In short, he wrought great destruction and then returned home. He had not yet heard of the death of Atse Galawdewos” [Atme G.M.(Tafla ) O.J.:29].Soon afterwards the Oromo invasions and migrations marked the eclipse of the Moslem onslaughts against the Abyssinian Christian Empire and the latter had to make futile attempts at curbing waves after waves of Oromo warriors invading and forcefully occupying many territories inside and outside of the Christian and Moslem jurisdiction and control of the day but to no avail.

 Ras Hamalmal fought Luba Michile (Mesle) at Dago in Arsi province in around 1560, thus repulsing the Oromo invaders from occupying Kambata and the adjacent territories which were then under the Christian empire. Hamalmal firmly retained his governorship of the Kingdom of Kambata, long after the Oromo invasions. When the Portuguese delegation led by Father Fernandez reached Kambata, on the orders of Emperor Susneyos, in 1614, Hamalmal was still the governor of Kambata. Buckingham and Huntingford noted of this situation as follows;“Traveling eastwards from the river Zebee[Gibe] the Father [Fernandes] reached Innagara, a place in the Kingdom of Cambat, which was governed by Hamalmal who at that time recognized the emperor as his overlord . To the left there are people called Guragues who do not often obey the emperor” [Fernandez (Buckingham /Huntingford) 1954 162-76]. The Portuguese explorer Almeida who was at Emperor Susneyos’s court in 1614 also confirms about Ras Hamalmal being the Governor of Kabmata and a faithful vassal of the emperor thus:“The fact that Hamalmal, amid so many Galla countries, obeyed him [the emperor] and still accorded him some recognition was rather because he was well-disposed and a vassal of old standing, than because the empire was strong enough to make him do it if he had wished to revolt. So today Cambata does not pay any tribute nor does the emperor appoint a governor for that kingdom, it all belongs to various Galla and Moorish lords who hold and rule it. At the time the emperor did what he could.” [Ibid, 1954:165]. Emperor Susneyos reigned in Gondar from 1607-32.Ras (Abetohun)Hamalmal’s story and the Oyeta dynasty he founded in Kambata seems to have evoked a funny twist in the oral traditions of the Kambata people. A tradition widely known in Kambata states that seven groups at the summit of the Ambarricho massif, who had survived the upheavals of the long-lasting “Holy war” (‘Jihad’) , formed a federation (Kokata). The names of these ‘seven of the Ambarricho’ (‘ambarricho lamala’) are generally given as Oyeta, Gulba, Hinnira, Taza, Effegena, Ebejjinna and Fuga. According to an etiological tale, a hunger contest is supposed to have determined their internal hierarchy and secured the kingship for the Oyeta group or clan. Whereas hitherto Kambata had merely been a political term, from the end of the sixteenth century onwards a process of ethno-genesis drew together heterogeneous groups, symbolized by the number seven; and from this process emerged the Kambata people. All the remaining groups referred to as ‘Kambata peoples’ based on their common language are also symbolized by the number seven (‘Molli lamala’ among the Tembaro,’ Dongi lamala’ among the Donga, ‘Dubami lamala’ among the Dubamo). The population of Kambata (in the narrow sense ) was stratified according to ethnic origin: the Oyeta (Ras Hamalmal’s dynasty) who claimed to originate from Gondar, formed the royal clan; the Gulba from Bulga ( Shoa) formed a clan of nobles; the originally Omotic-speaking Hinnira and Taza made up an upper stratum of ‘free commoners’ while the lower stratum of free commoners was composed of Efegenna and Ebejjenna, who had become linguistically dominant; finally, the Fuga, the Saga and the Awado, formed endogamous castes of artisans–carpenters, hunters, potters, blacksmiths, etc. A caste system based on social stratification or clan ranking was the order of the day which eventually gave 
 way to a semi-feudal order in the 19th century, particularly during the reign of King Dilbato Degoye (1845-92), resulting in a mass rebellion of the oppressed Kambata masses that almost toppled the ruling regime of the day. Today, no social stratification exists among the first four groups who have freely intermarried and intermingled among themselves over the past several hundreds of years; they all enjoy equal status in all walks of life. But the social status of the last groups (Fuga, Saga and Awado) still remains unpalatable to all people who believe in the equality of all human beings and their equal treatment in all aspects of life, in brief, respecting their inalienable human rights. I personally believe that if the Fuga, Saga and Awado had the upper hand in leading the Kambata people over the past several hundreds of years, perhaps, they would have tremendously contributed towards the development of a technological or industrial society today, as these three groups were the ones who had great skills in making armours of war, agricultural tools, kitchen utensils, pottery, tannery, hunting, etc. and masters of the material culture of the Kambata people. The whole Kambata society have depended, and still depend, upon their technical skills and output for many generations up until today.Ras Hamalmal is considered to have been the first king of the Oyeta dynasty, which was named after his wife Oyete (Hayat), daughter of Hajj Ali(ye) Ismael Jeberti, a religious and war leader of the Azernet- Berbere (eastern Gurage) at the time. As mentioned earlier, this Hamalmal is mentioned in the report of the Portuguese Jesuit Antonio Fernandes, who in 1613/14 undertook a mission from the Ethiopian imperial court at Gondar through Kambata. Thus the chronology for the beginning of the Oyeta dynasty can be fixed. Hamalmal was nominally the governor of Kambata province in the name of the Christian empire. In practice, however, he was independent, especially as the expansion of the Oromo into Shoa has broken the territorial link with the Abyssinian state. Relations with the Christian north were broken off almost in the course of the seventeenth century; yet survivals of Christian Orthodox traditions have been retained to the present day.From Hamalmal’s time onwards, Kambata served as a refuge for political refugees and economically threatened groups from southern and northern Ethiopia. The immigrants, such as Amhara from Gaynt (Begemedir), Bulga (Shoa), Manz(Shoa) and people from the Hadiya and Ormo regions, often became the founders of new clans, whose number rose in the course of time to about one hundred or more. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Kambata remained restricted to a small territory around the Ambarricho massif due to the consequences of the devastating wars of Iman Gragn Ahmed (1529-43) and his generals Abd an-Nasir (1532) and Nur Ibn Mujjahid (1529-68), and the subsequent massive Oromo migrations (1570-1870), while Hadiya herdsmen who came along with the Muslim jihadists continued to control and use most of the area between the Omo and the Bilate rivers for grazing. The Kambata peoples were famed for their sophisticated agricultural techniques and their surplus production; yet population pressure (itself in part a consequence of this agricultural success) presented a growing threat to their existence.No written records exist about Hamalmal’s immediate successors. However, Kambata (Oyeta) oral traditions confirm Dame, Anno, Ketemo (Ketema), Dil’aba and Gonjobo as Hamalmal’s immediate successors. For the kingdoms of Dubamo, Donga and Tembaro, too, the period from the beginning of the seventeenth to the middle of the eighteenth century is a dark phase, though they also have their own oral accounts of this period. One event which was of significance for religious and political history was the kidnapping of a spirit medium, the hauzul-mancho from Bosha, by the Dubamo. According to oral traditions or accounts, the Kambata owed tribute to the Hadiya of the Wetogira tribes, to whom they were also under humiliating conditions. In about 1770, their king Katama managed, with the help of other Hadiya groups (the Shashogo and Urusso), to drive out the Weto–gira Hadiya tribes (Haballo, Bargage, Hojje, Han’qalla, Hayiba, Haysaba, Gonda’la, Errera and Massawa; these were part of the Moslem jihadists that conquered Kambata and led by Abd an–Nasir in 1532). The murder of Dil’aba, Katama’s immediate successor, shortly afterwards by Hadallo Gebro [Gebru, Ketema’s brother], a member of the Oyeta royal clan, was followed by a period of succession disputes and civil wars which lasted about ten years. Under King Waqo Ketema (c.1790-1810) the Kambata state was again consolidated.The Donga had successfully striven for some time under their woma (king ) Hanagassa to extend their territory. In about 1770, however, the Badawacho Hadiya pushed them back to their small mountain homeland. Around 1800, they and their neighbours, the Dubamo, fell under the overlord-ship of the Soro-Hadiya, who had advanced from the north. The Tembaro were able to maintain their independence and became notorious for their raids into the country lying southwest of them, extending beyond Dawro (Kullo-Konta).Under King Dagoiye Waqo (c. 1810-45) a ‘formative’ period began in Kambata, in which the institutions of the state acquired their essential features, and Kambata began to extend its territory by a deliberate programme of colonisation, pushing the Wolayta and the Hadiya peoples. As in many kingdoms of southern Ethiopia (e.g. Wolayta, Janjero), the newly acquired areas were in each case demarcated by a system of walls and ditches, which served in part as fortifications but had a more important symbolic significance.Kambata enjoyed its ‘classical’ age under woma (king) Dilbatto Degoiye (c.1845-92), who was highly respected among the peoples of central southern Ethiopia. Under his rule the institutions of state reached their highest stage of development An administrative apparatus sub-dividing the territory into counties (gocho) was created, and diplomatic and military measures led to a considerable extension of the area covered by the state (reaching roughly the present-day linguistic boundaries of the Kambata). The main military conflicts were with the Soro-Hadiya and the Wolayta, whereas the other Hadiya tribes and the Alaba were tied to the Kambata state by alliances and inter marriage. The rise of the monarchy and of the Oyeta clan was accompanied by growing clashes of interest and socio-economic antagonisms between the ruling stratum and the mass of the peasantry (kontoma). An insurrection (‘kontomi diddenna’) which broke out in about 1885 was crushed by King Dilbatto with the help of friendly Hadiya groups (mainly Badawacho).At this time Kambata already lay within the field of operations of the Shoa Amhara, who had occupied the Gurage country and were beginning to extend their conquests into the areas immediately south of it. Between 1891 and 1893 the Kambata peoples were subjugated by the Christian Ethiopian empire under Emperor Menilik II . This meant the end of the kingship and the beginning of a new political and socio-economic era, characterized above all by the gabbar system. The inhabitants were allotted as bondsmen or serfs of the state (gabbar) to military colonists (naftagna or gun-bearer) from the north colonizing the conquered peoples including the earlier colonists called ‘chawa’ who migrated to the region since the time of Emperor Yeshaq of Gondar (1414-29) and were obliged to pay taxes in kind and perform corvee–like services. Insurrections against this state of affairs broke out in many parts of southern Ethiopia, particularly during the civil war of 1916 during the reign of Lij Eyasu Michael. Conquest by the Ethiopian empire was followed by a (re) Christianization of the Kambata region; but it was not until the 1950s that this process was completed, thanks partly to the work of Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries. The Amhara introduced new crops (e.g. eragrostis teff) and ox-drawn ploughs; but in the highlands to this day the latter has only managed to gain a secondary place vis-à-vis the traditional agricultural tools-- the digging- stick and hoe. An important innovation was the emergence of centers of administration and commercial activities (katama) in a country where the only form of settlement had been that of loosely grouped hamlets and far-flung villages. The gabbar system was abolished by the Italians and was not reintroduced after the reinstatement of Emperor Haile Sellassie I by the British in 1941. The landlord-tenant system which then emerged did not fundamentally alter socio- economic relationships. Fortunately, most Kambata, especially in the densely populated highlands, were in any case peasants on land which was considered as belonging to their communities and for which only a relatively small tax had to be paid to the state. Large estates were promised to those descendants of kings who were appointed balabat (government chief) and to people of the Oyeta clan. Overpopulation in the core area of the Kamabata made it increasingly necessary for landless peasants to seek their living standards among self-sufficient smallholders from about 1960 on. In general however, the material quality of life remained so low that the majority of inhabitants of the Kambata areas greeted the revolution which broke out in 1974 and the proclamation of a land reform with great optimism, which, however, was dashed soon due to the ill-advised programmes of forced villagization, forced resettlement in remote and harsh environments as well as the inability of peasants to sell their agricultural surplus produce at the market price and at places of their choice or preference but forcefully supply their products to the state-owned Agricultural Marketing Enterprise (AMCE) at government set prices and quantities. This, in brief, covers some aspects of the history of Kambata from the 14th to the 20th century.

1. Atme, G.M. History of the Galla (Yegalla Tarik), part I translated by Bairu Tafla, O.O. (Ms) Azais, R. P.and R. Chambard , 1942.
2. Braukamper, Ulrich, Die Kambata Franz Steiner Verlagh GMBH, Weisbaden, 1983
3. Buckingham, C.F. and G. B.W. Huntingford (Eds.). Some Records of Ethiopia 1593-1646; Being Extracts from the History of High Ethiopia or Abassia by Manoel de Almeida together with Bahrey’s History of the Galla [Oromo ], (Hakluyt Society II, CVII), London
4. Cerulli, Ernesta Peoples of South –west Ethiopia and its Borderland, London, 1956
5. Ethiopia: The 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia, CSO, 1994, Addis Ababa
6. Haberland, E. The Influence of the Christian Ethiopian Empire on Southern Ethiopia , In Journal of Semitic Studies IX: 235-38
7. Hodson, A. Seven Years in Southern Ethiopia , London, 1927
8. Leslaw, W. Additional Notes on Kambata of Southern Ethiopia, In: Arthropods 51, 5/6 :985-93 , 1956
9. Leslaw, W. Notes on Kambata of Southern Ethiopia, In: Africa, XXII:348-59 , 1952
10. Ludolph(us), J. A New History of Ethiopia: Being a Full and Accurate Description of the Kingdom of Abyssinia, vulgarly though Erroneously called the Empire of Prester John, London, 1682.
11. Moreno, M.M. Appunti di Cambata e di Alaba, In: RRAL, ser. VI, XIV,3/4=269-79
12. Singer, N.J. The Use of Courts as a Key to Legal Development: an Analysis of Legal Attitudes of the Cambata of Ethiopia, In Proceedings of the First United States Conference of Ethiopian Studies, 1973. s. 365-83 East Lansing , 1975
13. Singer, N.J. Some Notes on the origin of the Cambata of southern Ethiopia, Tuscaloosa (Ms.), 1977.
14. Singer, N.J. The Relevance of Traditional Legal Systems to Modernization and Reform: a Consideration of Cambata Legal Structure, In Tubiana, J. (Ed.), Modern Ethiopia :From the Accession of Menilik II to the Present, S.. 537-56 ,Rotte rdam , 1980
15. Yigezu, Seifu. Kambata Awraja: Its People and Local Administration, Addis Abeba (Ms)1970.
16. Dagana Bafutte Did’ana Oral History of Kambata, 1986. The late Dagna Bafutte Did ‘ana was a well known Oyeta notable who died at the age of 90 in 1992.

Saturday, 14 July 2012Some Historical Records of Kambata ... (Part 2) - By Tesfaye Habisso

Some Historical Records of Kambata from the 13th-17th Century and a Brief History of the Portuguese Soldiers & Jesuits in Kambata (1613-1614)

By Tesfaye Habisso
With the rise of the legendary Solomonic dynasty (since 1270) an epoch of military, political, and cultural expansion of the Christian Empire in the south developed during this same period. The famous chronicle Kebra Nagast (“glory of the kings”) was written, as far as we know,[1] in the 13th or 14th century. It is the first literary document with a vague reference to this southward expansion. Beginning with this period, the written records of the south become more numerous; particularly the chronicles of the Emperors Amda-Tsion, Zara-Yacob, Baeda-Mariam, and Sartsa-Dengel (include very few, but nevertheless highly remarkable references to the southern peoples.[2] The Islamic wave under Ahmad Gragn, war-leader of Adal, which invaded Ethiopian highlands from the east in the 16th century, marked a clear turning-point in the relations between the Christian Empire and its southern neighbours. The Muslim eruption, it is true, did not last more than a few decades, but the huge expansion of the Oromo people succeeding the Gragn wars created a broad wall separating the Christian north from its former zones of influence in the south. A secondary effect of the Oromo expansion was the discontinuation of the records of Islamic historiographers, for example, of Al-Idrizi (1100-1166), Ibn Sa’id (1214-74), Abu’l Fida (1273-1331), Fadl Allah al-‘Umari (1348), Al-Makrizi (1364-1442), and Arab Faqih, Ahmad Gragn’s chronicler. With the final disappearance of indigenous historiographical activity by the 17th century, the records of European authors became the chief source of information concerning the southern peoples. F. Alvarez, who joined a mission to Ethiopia between 1520 and 1526, and M. de Almeida, J. Lobo, and A. Fernandez in the beginning of the following century, rank among the most important Portuguese travellers who were responsible for much of what we know of these areas during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Especially, “History of High Ethiopia or Abassia” (Historia de Ethiopia a alta ou Abassia) written in Portuguese by the Jesuit Father Manoel de Almeida between 1628 and 1646, and a short “History of the Galla[Oromo]”, written in Ethiopic by an ecclesiastic from Gamo Gofa named Bahrey in 1593, give detailed accounts of the south and south-western states and peoples of Ethiopia.
Few references were made to the Kambata-speaking peoples in the royal chronicles and other records. Presumably the first allusion to Kambata as a country in the vicinity of Janjero [Yem] occurred in a song in honour of Emperor Yeshaq (1414-29). This ruler is said to have introduced Christianity in this region.[3]. It is not impossible that the Gambota mentioned in Bae’da-Maryam’s chronicle is synonymous with Kambata. This hypothesis finds support in the geographical specification of this locality as a province in the utmost south of the Ethiopian Empire.[4]. During the Gragn wars Kambata was conquered by the Islamic general Abd en-Nasr in 1532. It is also of great interest to note that a report exists that warriors from Gafat, a Semitic-speaking group from the Gojam Province which has linguistically nearly died out, fought the Muslims on the Kambata side. [5] The pressures upon the Christians following the Islamic conquest did not extinguish the roots of Christianity in the country. Some decades later when Sartsa-Dengel tried to re-establish the Ethiopian imperial rule in that area, a famous tabot (sanctuary of the Orthodox Church) was discovered which had survived the periods of fierce Islamic persecution in Kambata. [6] The Ethiopian [Abyssinian] restoration which followed the Muslim expulsion, obviously was not very encompassing and was short-lived. This is not surprising considering the fact that the Amhara ruling class needed all the military reserves they could muster to thwart the Galla [Oromo] expansion. When the Portuguese traveller, Fernandez, came to Kambata during the reign of Emperor Susneyos (1607-32) in 1613, Hamelmal was the ruler there. [7] From this point on, only a few references to Kambata are made by other foreign authors.[8]

Historians encounter the same handicap in the case of the Alaba. Only very few authentic materials are available for the past of this group. In the Zara-Ya’eqob chronicle, Alaba is more or less openly reported to have been a dependency of the Hadiya territorial cluster. After Mahiko’s failed rebellion, the Alaba became more independent from the Hadiya, but they remained under the suzerainty of the Christian Empire. When Fernandez set foot in Alaba country in 1613 and met the Muslim chief Alico there, the area enjoyed a nearly unrestricted independence from Ethiopia, whilst Kambata did not differ in status from an Ethiopian province. [9]

In the time of Ahmad Gragn’s invasion a remarkable climax of historical documentation was reached for the Kambata as well as the Hadiya. According to the traditions, the Adal warriors did not succeed in destroying the Christian strongholds and the churches on Mt. Hambaricho in Kambata. Gragn’s troops are also reported to have never crossed the Omo in this region. People from the Kambata area who fled beyond that river to the west were thus able to save their lives. In fact, concrete information concerning Gragn’s activities in the western parts of southern Ethiopia are lacking. The descendants of the Gafat people mentioned as Kambata allies against Abd en-Nasr live in Kambata still today and kept the tradition of their northern origin. Because Kambata was a highly favourable region for refugees from the northern parts of Ethiopia throughout its history and thereby producing a complex heterogeneity of ethnic groups, it is very difficult to put chronological sequence of the Semitic immigrations. It cannot be safely decided, for instance, whether or not the founder of the Oyeta dynasty in Kambata, Ras (abetohun) Hamelmal, came from Gondar area before or after the Gragn wars. According to the orally- transmitted genealogy, Hamelmal became the first king in Kambata. Hamelmal is also the name of the ruler whom the Portuguese expedition encountered in 1613. The dynasty only relates of one sovereign with this name. Moreover, the historical depth reached by counting the generations, twelve kings are referred to until Menelik’s occupation of Kambata in 1890-93, excludes any doubt about Hamelmal’s identity as the first ruler of the Oyeta dynasty and as Fernandez’ contemporary.

1. The Presence of the Portuguese Soldiers and Jesuits in Kambata (1613-1614).
Manoel de Almeida’s “History of High Ethiopia or Abassia” as translated and edited by C.F. Beckingham and G.W.B. Huntingford and presented as extracts in “Some Records of Ethiopia 1593-1646” is introduced, by the translators and editors, as follows: [10]
In some ways, indeed, Abyssinia’s history is remarkably like Japan’s. In both countries a long period of comparative isolation ended with the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century; after the navigators and traders came the missionaries of the Society of Jesus to win spectacular but short-lived successes and soon to find themselves proscribed as both empires withdrew into deliberate and almost complete isolation.

Even since the time of Prince Henry the Navigator, the Portuguese had associated their explorations with missionary work, and this vigorously stimulated by the foundation of the Jesuits.
It was directed not so much to the Moslems, who were usually regarded as unteachable, as to the ‘heathens’, that is, all who were neither Christians, Moslems nor Jews, and also the heretical Eastern Christian communities, of which the Abyssinians were one. Almeida draws a chronological parallel between the discovery of Abyssinia and the origins of his Order observing that St. Ignatius Loyola was born in 1491, about the time that Pero de Covilha, the agent of the Portuguese king John II, reached the country in search of Prester John, that Loyola received the wound that led to his conversion in 1521, the year after the first Portuguese embassy had landed at Massawa, and that Dom Cristovas de Gama[son of Vasco da Gama] disembarked there to assist the Emperor against the Moslems in 1541, the year after the Pope had confirmed the Society’s Constitutions.
The Abyssinians had been immensely impressed by the efficiency and the equipment of the small Portuguese force that came to their assistance in 1540 under the command of Dom Cristovas da Gama, in particular by the artillery which enabled them to capture mountain fastnesses that had previously been impregnable. Susneyos always hoped that the favour he showed to the Jesuits would allow him to secure the help of another contingent from the Portuguese in India.

In January, 1611, Pope Paul V sent him a letter congratulating him on his accession, praising him for his zeal for the Catholic faith and raising his hopes by the following sentence:- “As you asked, we have commended the present need of your Kingdom to our very dear son in Christ Philip, Catholic and mighty king of the Spains, who, we hope, will out of his abundant magnanimity and zeal for the Christian faith, give you effective help; we have commanded our Apostolic Nuncio, who is with his Catholic Majesty, to solicit diligently what you ask.”

What happened when the Emperor received this letter is best told in Almeida’s words. This reached the Emperor at a time when he could not reply during the same monsoon, because the ships in the Strait of Mecca ( a common Portuguese name for the Red Sea) had left for India, but it gave him extra-ordinarily great pleasure. He had for some time strongly desired to send an ambassador to Rome and Portugal, and had not done so only because of the difficulty of getting out of Ethiopia and through the Turks. This letter enhanced his desire so much that he decided to send the ambassador to Enarya to try to reach the coast of Melinde from there. He discussed this with the Fathers and asked that one of them should consent to accompany the ambassador, so that he should be better received in Europe. [He may have remembered that Matthew, the envoy sent by the Empress Helena [Eleni] about a hundred years before, had been very badly treated by some of the Portuguese officials.]
They deliberated about it and each one suggested himself for the dangerous journey. Father Antonio Fernandez was chosen, a choice at which the Emperor expressed much satisfaction. Then the Emperor informed the Father of all he intended by this embassy and entrusted to him certain private matters which could not be included in the letters. He and his brother Se’ela-Christos, Viceroy of Gojam, who alone shared this secret, both swore before Fathers Pero Paez and Antonio Fernandez to obey the Roman Pontiff in all things and accept a Patriarch from him…. Then they named as ambassador Fikre-Egzy, a man of noble birth and of great prudence and courage who had already embraced the Holy Faith of Rome.

They carried five letters, three from the Emperor, which were addressed to the Pope, the King of Spain and Portugal, and the Viceroy of Portuguese India, and two from Ras Se’ele-Christos, to the Pope and the King.
“May the Emperor Seltan-Seged’s letter come with the peace of Christ Jesu the good shepherd of the universal church. We have received, holy and beloved father, your letter of January 1611, full of that love which inflamed the kindly father when he received it at a time when we could not reply because the ships of India had left. We therefore decided to send it by another road, which we hope in God will be opened; we have therefore sent Father Antonio Fernandez of the Society of Jesus, who has been at our Court for some time, and our ambassador Fikre-Egzy, earnestly desiring Your Holiness to take notice of how, by the teaching of the Fathers of the Society of Jesus who reside in our empire, we have understood the true faith of the seat of the blessed St. Peter. We have decided toembrace it and to render obedience to Your Holiness as to the head of the Universal Church, and henceforth to govern ourselves by your Patriarch…Since we cannot make this decision of ours public without having as many as a thousand Portuguese here, we desire you to send them to us as quickly as possible, for we have learnt from a letter of the King our brother that you would please him in this, and you would give us great satisfaction. When they come they must take the port of Maca in the strait of the Red Sea, and I shall give them the coast lands and help them to hold them. It is necessary that five hundred Portuguese should remain there beside the thousand we wish to have with us. And that workmen, especially armourers and builders, should come with them; for everything else we refer you to Father Antonio and to our ambassador.” [11]

The ambassador’s home was in Gojam and he went there first to settle his domestic affairs before leaving. Fernandez followed him in March, 1613, and stayed for a time at the Jesuit residency at Kolala, which was in charge of Francisco Antonio de Angelis, in whose company he had come to Abyssinia nine years before. He waited there until he knew that the Ras had returned to his camp at Wambarma, and then he and the ambassador went to take leave of him. They were accompanied by ten Portuguese soldiers, four of whom wished to go with them to India; the others were to turn back in Enarya.

Ras Se’ele-Christos had procured guides from the heathen tribes through which the first part of their route lay, but their troubles began before they had even reached the Nile. They were forced to send back for help, but the knowledge that they had done so and the fear of the Ras-induced the tribesmen to change their minds.

Then they proceeded to Enarya. Enarya was then still Christian and tributary to the Emperor but the leading ecclesiastic was very suspicious of the embassy. Fernandez tried to conciliate him but the local ruler refused to allow them to continue in the direction they had intended, that is through Kaffa. Whatever his motives may have been, it is likely that they owed their lives to his refusal, and the route to which they were diverted dangerous as it was, offered at least as much prospect of success as that they had initially proposed to follow. He compelled them to turn eastwards and try to reach the Somali coast in the neighbourhood of Mogadishu, by crossing the Omo, traversing Kambata and Bali and then descending the Wabi Shebelle.

They therefore found themselves travelling through what were then the southern boundaries of the Christian empire, a region not again described at first hand by a European until the nineteenth century. From Enarya they made their way to the little, pagan kingdom of Janjero [Yem]. Almeida, who knew Fernandez well, gives a description of it which is of great historical and anthropological interest, for very few explorers visited it before it was conquered by Emperor Menelik II in the late nineteenth century. Even they crossed its borders surreptitiously and left again in haste in fear of being forced to drink boiling water; Fernandez is the only European known to have been received at the court of one of its independent kings.

When they resumed their journey they crossed the Omo river into Kambata. Here they were detained because of the intrigues of a representative of the Emperor whom Almeida calls Menkir. Like the churchmen of Enarya he guessed correctly that the object of the embassy was to bring Portuguese troops into the country, and he persuaded the governor not to allow it to proceed without reference to Emperor Susneyos. This, of course, took time, the more so as the messengers were arrested on their way and kept prisoners for three months; they then returned to Kambata and others were sent who succeeded in reaching Dembya, the seat of the Emperor. The reply arrived in Kambata in June, 1614, and the embassy was then able to proceed to Alaba. The local ruler was a Moslem and when he had talked with Menkir, who followed them a few days later, he imprisoned them all, including even the Emperor’s envoy, and confiscated their possessions. Their lives were in imminent danger and it was at this juncture that Fernandez burnt his letters, to save being burnt himself, as Almeida remarks.
Some of the Moslem chiefs, however, protested and the ruler was induced to send back Fernandez and the ambassador, taking care that they should not pass through Kambata, as he was afraid that the governor might help them to reach the coast another way. Menkir persuaded him to detain the three Portuguese who were still with the embassy so that they could fight in his army. Fernandez and the ambassador made their way back across the Awash and through what was widely Galla [Oromo] territory into Shoa. As soon as they could they wrote to the Emperor telling him what had happened and offering to make another attempt. They were, however, ordered to return to court, for as Almeida says, there was no other route less dangerous than the one they had tried. Their travels had lasted a year and seven months.

After this Fernandez spent much of his time at Dangaz. He was Superior of the Mission for some years and acted as interpreter when Almeida himself was first received at court. After the arrival of the Patriarch he became his Vicar-General and remained in Abyssinia until the exile of the Jesuits in 1634. In the summer of 1632 Susneyos became convinced that there would be incessant revolts unless he permitted the traditional practices of the national church. In spite of the opposition of the Jesuit Patriarch Alfonso Mendes, he issued a proclamation restoring the old religion and directing that the churches should again he occupied by the Monophysite clergy.

Almeida’s later years in Abyssinia were spent mostly at Gorgora, and it was there in 1628 that the earlier part of his “History” was written. When in 1632 the Emperor decided to permit again traditional practices of the Abyssinian church Almeida was one of the three priests sent by the Patriarch to try to dissuade him. The attempt failed and after the accession of Fassildas [Fassil] he and the other Jesuits of the capital, then at Dangaz near Azzezo, were banished first to Kolala and then to Fremona. On their way north they were robbed and pelted with stones.

They arrived in April, 1633, and it was decided to send someone to India to inform the authorities of what had happened. Manoel Barradas was chosen for this task, and three others were sent with him….and Almeida himself….Fernandez was then about sixty four and enfeebled by overwork and constant austerities. He arrived in Diu after having been fifty-two days at sea; Almeida, who had only just arrived himself, says that if the voyage had lasted another four days Fernandez would have died. He had to be carried ashore and taken to the Jesuit college in a palanquin. He died at Goa in 1641.
The details of the ordeals of the Emperor’s messengers, as described in “Some Extracts from the History of High Ethiopia or Abassia 1628-46, Chapters 17 & 18, Book VII, pp. 162-3; 163-66, are as narrated here under.

1.1 The Journey of Antonio Fernandez, 1613-14: How Father Antonio Fernandez Left the Kingdom of Gingiro [Janjero] and Reached that of Cambate [Kambata]
Travelling eastwards from the river Zebee [Gibe/Omo] the Father reached Ianagara, a place in the Kingdom of Cambate [Kambata], which was governed by Hamelmal who at that time recognized the Emperor as his overlord. To the left there are people called Guragues who do not often obey the Emperor. The Father stayed at Ianagara for two days because he was told that if they waited they would meet a party of people who were coming there to a fair. This, however, was a subterfuge and a trick to enable these people to send a message to their neighbours in the meantime and assemble to attack and rob them. So it happened that as soon as they started on the journey seven horsemen came up to them, but when they learnt that they were the Emperor’s servants they did them no harm. Nevertheless, it was not long before heathen Guragues, five on horseback and many others on foot with bows, formed themselves into a company and rushed upon the Father’s companions who were only seventeen armed men.

They joined battle. Though the Guragues were numerous the Father’s men were braver and were fighting for their lives; from time to time they drove back the brigands. A young man related to the Ambassador noticed that some of the Guragues were advancing and were making for the Father. He shouted to those of his companions who were nearer to the Father to go to his help. In his concern for the Father he neglected his own safety and exposed himself in such a way that he was struck by an arrow from which, as it had been poisoned, he died a few days later, to the great grief of all who knew him and loved him for his good qualities. A servant of the wounded man had wanted to avenge his master and was hurling a ‘zaraguncho’ at the man who killed him with such determination and at such range that he could not have avoided it. When others of his companions saw it they prevented him from throwing the dart. As they were not in their own country they were afraid that if there were any deaths, a large number of people would join together against them and they would not be able to escape. They simply defended themselves with such courage that the enemy, realising that they could not rob them of their possessions except at great cost to themselves, came to terms and made peace.
1.2 The Vexations and Troubles that Father Antonio Fernandez and the Ambassador Fikre-Egzy Endured in Cambate [Kambata]

After this encounter the Father, Ambassador and all their company reached the place where Hamelmal, who was then governor of the Kingdom of Cambate [Kambata], resided. To begin with, when he saw the letters from the Emperor that they brought him, he received them well. However, a servant of the Emperor’s (his name was “Menkir””) was there at the time; he had come to collect the tribute which Hamelmal used to pay. Either because the grandees of the court, who were enemies of the Fathers and of the Roman faith, had prompted him, or because the Devil had prevailed upon him to oppose and do all the harm he could to the Father and Ambassador, he exerted himself to the utmost to persuade Hamelmal to hinder this journey and not let the Portuguese and his companions proceed by any way. He alleged that they were going for no other purpose than to fetch Portuguese troops who would take possession of the Empire of Ethiopia and force them to change their faith, bartering that of their fathers and grand-fathers for that of Rome. He was not satisfied with persuading Hamelmal of this. He laboured to persuade all the people of that country and of the neighbouring districts, Gallas [Oromos], Moors [Moslems] and Christians. He instilled great fear into them, reminding them that when the Moor Granh {Gragn] had conquered almost the whole of Ethiopia, a few Portuguese had been enough to free it from his hands, because they were very brave and fought with muskets and bombards that struck terror into everyone and killed from a long way off.

Influenced by Manquer’s [Menkir’s] arguments Hamelmal first had the Father, Ambassador and their people closely examined to see whether there was any possibility or trace of lying or falsehood in what they said. He found they were all in agreement and there was nothing on which he could fasten and he would no doubt have allowed them to proceed but for the solicitations of Manquer [ Menkir], who insisted so much and so passionately that he was forced to send a messenger to the Emperor to learn whether he wished those men to go on or not. Having decided on this, he sent one man, Manquer [Menkir] another and the Father one of the Portuguese who were accompanying him to inform the Emperor of all that had happened on his journey. When the messengers had left Manquer [Menkir] planned to seize and get into hands all the Father’s and Ambassador’s possessions, but he was unable to do so, because they deposited them in Hamelmal’s keeping. Their great grief was that, when three months had gone and the Emperor’s answer was daily expected, the three men who had been sent to the court returned and said they had not gone past a place only three days’ journey away, because they had been arrested and held there all that time. It was necessary to send other messengers and to have patience while wearily awaiting the answer, and in the meanwhile endure the injuries and spitefulness of Manquer [Menkir] and his servants, who wanted nothing so much as to bring about a quarrel with the Ambassador’s men so as to have an opportunity to harass them. One day matters came to such a pass that one of the Ambassador’s servants insulted and provoked by one of Manquer’s [Menkir’s] servants whom he had many times asked to desist, was not only abused but struck and hurt. He then turned upon him and retaliated with such a will that he stretched him out dead. Judgment of the case was referred to Hamelmal whose sentence was that the man who had killed him should die. The Ambassador appealed to the court, alleging that as he was an Ambassador, the Emperor alone could pronounce a capital sentence against one of his servants. The appeal was allowed, though Manquer [Menkir] very much regretted it. He regretted it still more when, a few days afterwards, the murder broke out of prison and found shelter leaving Manquer [Menkir] fuming.

Meanwhile the men carrying Hamelmal’s message and the news from the Father and Ambassador arrived at the Emperor’s court. When he heard it he showed extreme anger and would doubtless have punished Manquer [Menkir] and Hamelmal severely if he had not been so far from Cambate [Kambata]. The fact that Hamelmal, amid so many Galla [Non-Abyssinian/Non-Christian] countries, obeyed him and still accorded him some recognition was rather because he was a well-disposed and a vassal of old standing, than because the Empire was strong enough to make him do it if he had wished to revolt. So today Cambate [Kambata] does not pay any tribute nor does the Emperor appoint a governor for that Kingdom; it all belongs to various Galla [Non-Abyssinian] and, Moorish lords who hold and rule it. At the time the Emperor did what he could. He despatched a messenger called Baharo [Baharu or Bahru], a man well-known in that region, and with him letters to Hamelmal instructing him to provide the Father and the Ambassador Fecur Egzy [Fikre-Egzy] with everything they needed to continue their journey out of his revenues. He strongly enjoined upon him to help them with letters and with his influence and to do all he could to secure for them the favour of the neighbouring kings and princes so that they should all grant them free and open passage through their countries. With this object he sent rich “cabayas” to Hamelmal and also to a Moor who governed a country near there which is called Alaba, the moor himself being called Alico; he was the first person through whose country the Father and Ambassador had to go when they left Hamelmal’s principality.
The messenger Baharo[Bahru] arrived in Cambate [Kambata] in June, 1614, with these despatches, so favourable to the Father’s and Ambassador’s aims. Hamelmal, aware that such was the Emperor’s wish, considered the matter no further before giving what he was asked to give, or that seemed necessary for the journey. Among other things he gave the Ambassador seven horses because he understood that they were the best presents that could be offered to the petty kings and princes of the countries through which they had to pass Thereupon the Father and Ambassador resolved to resume their journey, neither wearied nor disheartened by their past labours or the long delays, for they had spent more than 14 months so far. There were, however, some of the Ambassador’s servants who turned back from here. They were afraid of greater troubles and dangers in the future, when they considered those through which they had passed hitherto, when travelling nearly all the time through countries subject to the Emperor, which were now at an end. Thenceforward their route was to be through stranger countries and people who did not give, and had never given any recognition to the Emperor, or ever had any knowledge of him.

1. For the recent situation of research vide Taddesse Tamirat, “ The Abbots of Debre-Hayq,” Journal of Ethiopian Studies (1970), VIII, 1.
2. For the critical analysis of Ethiopian chronicles as historical sources vide R. Pankhurst, Ethiopian Royal Chronicles (Nairobi, 1967), pp. VII ff.
3. J. Guidi, “Le canzoni geez-amarina in onore di Re Abessini,” Rendiconti della Reale Accademia dei lincei (1889), V, p. 56
4. J. Perruchon, Les chroniques de Zar’a Ya’eqob et de Ba’eda Maryam (Paris, 1893), p. 159
5. R. Basset, Histoire de la conquete de l’Abyssinie (XVI siecle) par Chiab Eddin Ahmed Ben ‘Abd El qader surnomme Arab-Faqih (paris, 1897), pp. 64, 224, 366.
6. C. Conti-Rossini, Historia Regis Sarsa Dengel (Malak Sagad), (Paris, 1955 1 ed., 1907), p. 76.
7. J. Bruce, Reisen zur Entdeckung der Quellen des Nils in des Jahren 1768-1773, (Leipzig, 1790-91), II, p. 322; P. Pais, Historia de Ethiopia (Porto 1945-46), III, 219.
8. For example J. L. Krapf, Reisen in Ost-Africa-ausgefuhrt in den Jahren 1837-1855 (Kornthal and Stuttgart, 1858), pp. 73 f; Cecchi, pp. 22, 81.
9. C.F. Beckingham and G.W.B. Huntingford, The Prester John of the Indies (F. Alvares), (Cambridge, 1961), II, 1xv; Moreno, p. 53; Bruce, II, p. 323.
10. C.F. Beckingham, et. al., Some Records of Ethiopia 1593-1646: Being Extracts from the History of High Ethiopia or Abassia by Manoel de Almeida

1628-46 , Chapter 17, Book VII, pp. 162-3
11. Ibid, Chapter 18, Book VII, pp. 163-166.


በጋሞ 4ሺ 500 ዓመት ያስቆጠረ “ባይራ” የተሰኘ የጥንተ ሰውቅሬተ አካል ተገኘ

ጋሞ በተባለ የኢትዮጵያ ከፍተኛ ስፍራ ሞጣ በሚባል ዋሻ እድሜው 4ሺ 500 ዓመት የሚገመት የጥንተ የሰው ቅሪተ አካል መገኘቱን የቅርስ ጥናትና ጥበቃ ባለስልጣን አስታወቀ።

ከግኝቱ ላይ በጥንቃቄ በተወሰደ ናሙና በጥናት በአፍሪካ በዕድሜ ከፍተኛ የሆነውን የዕድሜ ዘረ መል አወቃቀር ማወቅ ተችሏል።

የግኝቱን ስያሜ በተመለከት የጥናት ቡድኑ የተገኘበትን የጋሞ ማህበረሰብ ቋንቋ መሰረት ባደረገ ሁኔታ "ባይራ" ብሎ የሰየመው ሲሆን ትርጉሙም የበኩር ልጅ እንደማለት ነው።

እንደ ጎርጎሮሳዊያኑ በ2011 በካተሪን አርተር የሚካሄደው የዘርፈ ብዙ የጥናትና ምርምር ቡድን በጋሞ ማህበረሰብ የሀገር ሽማግሌዎች መሪነት የሞጣ ዋሻን የጎበኘ ሲሆን በወቅቱም በሰበሰቧቸው መረጃዎች መሰረት ሌሎች ባለሙያዎችን በማካተት በ2012 በከፊል ባደረገው ቁፋሮ "ባይራ" የተባለውን ቅሪተ አካል ማግኘት ችሏል።

"ባይራ" ከ30 እስከ 50 ዓመት የዕድሜ ክልል ውስጥ ኖሮ የሞተ የአዋቂ ወንድ ቅሬተ አካል እንደሆነ በጥናቱ ማረጋገጡን የቅርስ ጥናንትና ጥበቃ ባለስልጣን ያደረሰን መረጃ ያመለክታል።

ምንጭ፡ ኢብኮ

ጋሞ ውስጥ ይህ ተገኘ የተባለው ቅርስ በጣም አነስተኛውና ዝቅተኛ ዕድሜ ያለው ቢሆን እንጂ ረጅም ዕድሜ ያለው ነው ለማለት አይስደፍርም። ምክንያቱም ጋሞ ውስጥ ማለት ባጠቃላይ በደቡብ ክልል ውስጥ የደቡብ ማህበረሰብ ሕዝቦች ከኦሮሞ ማህበረሰብ ሕዝቦች ጋር ከ10000 (አስር ሺህ) በላይ ዕድሜ አብረው እንዲኖሩ ታሪክ ይናገራል። ስለዚህ ከዚያም የበለጠ ዕድሜ ያለው የሰው ቅሪት እንደሚገኝ እርግጠኛ ነኝ። እውነትና ታሪክ እያደር ይጎላል።