Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.


(ōrō`mō) or


(găl`ə), traditionally pastoral tribes who live in W and S Ethiopia and N Kenya. They number more than 25 million. About half are Muslim, about a third Ethiopian Orthodox, and about a sixth Protestant. Most live in Ethiopia, mainly in the ethnically based state of Oromia; they constitute roughly a third of all Ethiopians.

Originally from N Somalia, they later migrated to the region of Lake Turkana (Lake Rudolf). In the mid-16th cent. they began to move into the Ethiopian highlands. Never a united group, they were not a serious threat to the Ethiopian state. Their raids, however, were a considerable nuisance, and they were able to establish small states in many areas nominally controlled by the Ethiopian emperor. They were used as mercenary soldiers by the Ethiopians.

Oromo separatist guerrillas campaigned against Ethiopian rule from the 1990s without any significant results; they have also mounted occasional raids into Kenya. The Ethiopian government typically responded by repressing its opponents, occasionally prompting antigovernment demonstrations. Plans to transfer areas of Oromia neighboring Addis Ababa to the latter's administration led to protests beginning in 2014. The plan was abandoned in 2016, but protests continued in response to thousands of arrests and hundreds of deaths in a government crackdown; protests were also fueled by resentments against foreign-owned factories. In 2018 Ethiopia signed a peace agreement with the main Oromo separatist group.


See G. W. B. Huntingford, The Galla of Ethiopia (1955, repr. 1969); H. S. Lewis, A Galla Monarchy (1965).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
References in periodicals archive ?
The Oromo and Amhara peo- ple combined make up 61% of Ethiopia's population in 2019, while the Tigrays ac- count for around 6%.
The Oromo and Amhara people combined make up 61% of Ethiopia's population in 2019, while the Tigrays account for around 6%.
He concludes that this was "attesting to the large number of supporters Al Amoudi has amongst the Oromo of Ethiopia in particular."
Despite the new rating, there is probably still some juice in the mark given the entry in the handicap hurdle and Oromo can go in again.
I've long been a firm believer that every horse has their level and I'm going to test that again with Oromo in the Class 5 Join Racing TV Now Handicap Hurdle (2.30) at Musselburgh.
Jattani was a leader in a government that was toppled by guerrilla factions that included Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).
The Oromo movement is engaging in a struggle to empower the Oromo people to restore control on their economic and cultural resources and to overcome the effects of Ethiopian state terrorism and globalization.
"People have been killed, business premises bombed and torched, houses have also been set ablaze in the fight between Oromo and Somali Garre fighters," said Wario Sora, a human rights activist from Moyale on the Kenyan side.
In a news release, The Oromo Studies Association (OSA) confidently charged, "these conflicts are taking place with encouragement from, and an active participation of, the powerful group that currently dominates the Ethiopian government, aka the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF)." (3)
The Oromos are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia as a whole, and the attacks were reportedly targeted against ethnic minorities living in and around Addis Ababa.
As determined as they were, Oromo protesters did not show any sign to back down.
Supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) had placed their flag in parts of the city.