Eastern Africa, Horn of Africa • Language: Oromo

The Oromos are a large cluster of people living from northeastern Ethiopia to east-central Kenya. They practice a form of patrilineal descent but are divided into dozens of subgroups. Recently, because of economic and political integration in Ethiopia, the different Oromo subgroups have acquired an increasing sense of common identity. The traditional indigenous Oromo religion revolves around a belief in a single creator and an environment animated by spirit beings still existent today, even though Christianity has made its inroads among the Oromos. The southern Oromo are known as pastoralists who raise goats and cattle. Oromo groups, however, have a diverse economy which includes agriculture and work in urban centers. Some Oromo also sell products and food items like coffee beans at local markets. The Oromos’ system of governance, known as Gaada, is based on age grades--with older generations ranking higher in the system. They view aging as an advancement in wisdom. Elders are consulted in times of disputes and at weddings.



Here are images from the panAFRICAproject for the ethnographic group "Oromo".