History and Culture

Markos History & Culture Aug 17, 2021


The Oromo people are the native inhabitants of Eastern Africa and the largest ethnolinguistic group of Ethiopia constituting nearly halve of the population which makes it the largest ethnic group in Eastern Africa. The Oromo people speak Afaan Oromo, the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family. The Oromo language is the 4th most spoken language in the continent of Africa. Oromo have a very rich culture defined by everything from Oromo language, religion, cuisine, social habits, costumes and arts.

Today, the Oromo culture is influenced by the many factors of life and fostered by the size of the population and large land areas with diverse climatic conditions. One highly developed self-sufficient system which has influenced every aspect of Oromo life is the Gadaa system. It is a system that organises the Oromo society into groups or sets that assume different responsibilities in the society every eight years. It has guided the religious, social, political and economic life of Oromo for many years, and also their philosophy, art, history and method of time-keeping.The activities and life of each and every member of the society are guided by Gadaa. It is the law of the society, a system by which Oromo administer, defend their territory and rights, maintain and guard their economy and through which all their aspirations are fulfilled.

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