The Folk-Literature of the Galla of Southern Abyssinia

Part 2 of 2 (Part 1)

by Enrico Cerulli, Ph.D., member of the Societa Africana d'Italia and the Societa Geografica Italiana, late scholar of the R. Istituto Orientale di Napoli

Primary source for folk tales, history, legends, and culture of the Galla/Oromo people, the majority cultural group in Ethiopia. The texts are presented in the original Oromo, with translations and detailed notes and explanations. (I input this entire book by hand to make it available to the public.)

Entered by hand by Richard Seltzer (seltzer@seltzerbooks.com, www.seltzerbooks.com) from Harvard African Studies, Volume III, Varia Africana III, editors E.A. Hooton and Natica I. Bates, Assistant Editor Ruth Otis Sawtell, Published by The African Department of the Peabody Museum of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 1922

This edition Copyright 2003 Richard Seltzer. 


Introduction. I had begun the collection of various kinds of Galla popular literature in prose, and, as may be seen, had succeeded in gathering a number of texts, when by the order of the Italian military authorities, my assistant, Loransiyos Walda Yasus (see Introduction to this article), was sent back to his country, or rather, sent to his last residence at Keren in Eritrea. This sudden return of Loransiyos to his country not only prevented my completing the collection of prose texts, but left me without explanation, or at least without all the necessary explanation, of some texts which I had already gathered; for instance, several songs, the remainder of the Chronicle of Guma, and another long historical text relating to the cruelty of King Faysa Lamu.

I. Prose Works on Historical Subjects

1. The Oral Chronicle of the Kingdom of Guma.

As among all primitive people historical and genealogical tradiations abound, so in the independent Galla kingdoms such traditions assume the form of genuine chronicles. Since writing does not exist, these chronicles are handed down orally from father to son. Their existence has been hitherto unknown. Yet they are not without importance for the special history of the kingdom with which they deal, and for the general history of Ethiopia, as one can obtain from it references to the condition of the region which is at present Galla, before the invasion of this people into Ethoipia, and at the same time receive information as to the relations between these Galla kingdoms and Christian Abyssinia. Nor should one show himself skeptical of the possibility that oral tradition constitutes a fount of information of importance concerning ancient events. For example, Conti Rossini 83obsserved that in the oral historical traditions gathered by Bieber in Kaffa, 84 there was reference to a Sipenhao, i.e. sapenhi, governor of the innarya under the rule of Malak Saggad, also recorded in the written Ethiopian chronicle of this king. In this work I have collected proof of the preservation through the centuries of the legends about the Emperor Theodore I; and in the course of my studies of the Kushite peoples, I have frequently had the opportunity to observe that the genealogies of their tribes which the natives know, are a source of information not to be despised. Unfortunately, however, as I have said, among the chronicles of the Galla kingdoms, this of Guma is the first that has been ppublished. And the Amharic conquest, by destroying the independence of the Galla kingdoms, has resulted in these chronicles becoming less known day by day among the Galla people themselves, because there is now lacking one of the principal reasons for the existence of the chronicles: that of exalting the noble origin and the deeds of the reigning dynasty. (Observe that the chronicle of Guma mentions only the family of Adam.) These chronicles stopped at the Amharic conquest. The struggles of the Amharic chiefs, their rise and fall, and their disagreements are not, Loransiyos says emphatically, subjects dealt with in the stories of the sons of Orma. Now the chronicles are known only to the elders. It would, therefore, in my opinion, be of great scientific interest to collect them soon, before the remembrance of them is lost and these unique historical documents fall into oblivion.

The present chronicle has the title Dubbi motumma Guma, which Loransiyos translates in Amharic, Y-Guma mangisi nagar, "Chronicle of the Kingdom of Guma" (the Galla dubbi, from the root dubb, "to speak," corresponds exactly in sense to the Amharic nagar, "account," "thing," "contest"). The chronicle begins with the account of the way in which the Adamite dynasty got possession of the kingdom of Guma. I should have ended with the cruel death sentence of the late king, Abba Foggi, decreed by Ras Tasamma; however, as I have said above, I was unable to finish my work, and unfortunately, was prevented from publishing the last fragment gathered of this chronicle, because many points in it are obscure to me. Therefore, I have published only a summary of it, reserving the publication of the original until, with the aid of some native, I have revised and cleared it up.

Dubbi motumma Guma

I. Adam cakka ture. Ebicca Talo kiesatt ture. Cakka kana kiessa wasatu gira. Adam wasa dagadan cufe, gafarsa gadi elma, gafarsa kormasa qale natu. Adam nama akkana ture. Arba boqu qabetti kuffisa. Adam nama akkanati. Gafa Dagoyen adamo bu e, Adam inarge. Isan arginan baqatani. Namicci kuni biniensa gedani baqatani. Abba ala Dagoyen egdutti kienne. Kan namicci kuni gedu ilala! Gede Dagoyen egdicci kun ta e ege. Gafarsi digdama ta e dufe. Adam ka e, ebo nqabu. Harka qulla duka figeti tokko qabate. Yadi guddicca sa gafarsa mogole qabe. Bitatti diebise kuffise. Hadu qaba gale. Garfarsa kana bate qagete wasatti gale.Daga kana harka tokko nqabe balbalasa bane. Gafarsa kana fudate gale. Gafarsa kana otu tinno hinturin marummani gate. Mata gafa male gogarrattu nbasin nate fite. Egdun galte abba alatti himte. Attam godde? Geden. Gafarsi gadi harka nqabe qale. Qaleti sa matafi marumman gate. Gedani abba alatti himani. Abban mila galeti moti Dagoyeti hime. Motin Dagoye Sarboraddo ture. Hinni abba mimlatti: mie egdu kana fidi!  gede Egdu kana wame. Sarboraddon. Ammanan: ati gurba! gede. Dubbin kun dugada? Gede gafate. Duguma, goftako! gede. Akka ati argite kana, namni bira yo arge, farda an si kienna! gede. Yo dubbi kun soba ta e, akka korbiessa hola nan si qala! gede. Dubbi kana wuli gode. Nama kudalama lakkae Sarboraddo egdutti kienne. Agarsisi! Gede. Tole! Gede fudateti adamo bu e. Gara kudalama kani ilalani Adam inargani. Ya nama! ya nama! Gedani wamani. Milasa mirga ol fudate ilale. Namicci adida. Namon bori hinegna! Gedani mare godani. Kanan guya lama egani. Gafarsa solaniessa dufe, gafarsa kana itti utale qabe. Hinqale nata. Utuma ilalani fite. Namni kun boda nu nata! Gedani sodatani. Irracci baatani ta ani. Ammanan isani yogga tinno turani gafarsin daltin dufe. Gafarsa kana qabe, qabeti qunci quncisiti luka sa lamani hide. Hideti afan gala qabate elmate. Anan gafarsa kana duge, qunci kkkana irra hike gadi ged disa. Gafaarsi ilmosa fudate adieme. Ammanan gara manatti qagele wasasatti gale; balbala wasasa kana harka tokkon irra fude gale cufate cise. Ammanan garri tti dufaniti Sarboraddotti himani. Dubbin dugate, ya goftako. Gedani Sarbotti himani. Sarbon ega dubbin dugate genani dqeti an qaba! Gede. Dagoye daccase magga kana abba bu e, daqeti arge. Cakka kiessa sa dabate: mal gona qamna? Gede! Nama arba gadi elmu, gafarsa qabe qalu maltu danda e qaba? Gettu. Daga hinni balbala itti cufe kana undumti dula harkisa! gede. Harkisani daddabani. Kuni nama miti Saytani male! Gedani. Ammanan dise glae. Gafa Sarbon dise galu, durbi Dagoye! Ani nan qaba! gette! Attam gote qabatta? Gedani. Durbi: nan qaba namicca! Gette! Gedani Sarbotti himani. Intala kana natti fida! Gede. Ega intala kana Sarbotti fidan. Atttam gote qabda ya ntalako? Gede. Gessi, acci na kai manan itti galu sa balbala, ibidda na kienni, minan guya torba kan nattu na kienni! Egdu nama torba na kienni. Gafa guya torba nan qaba! Gette. Ammanan egdu torba gafa guya torba kienne erge Sarboraddo egdun kara tokko cakka bulani, isen kopase rafti. Intala giessani balbala mana kaani. Hinni nama bae ture Adam. Yogga intala balalatti tiessu, yada gafarsatti gatitti bate dufe. Gafarsa kana lafa kae. Mali kan natti agau? Gede. Nama nama kan gedu kun! Gafarsa kana lafa kae qaleti nati. Wa tokko mana nbulcine fite. Ganama ygga lafa intala kan ilale wa itti ndubbanni, bira darbe adieme. Cakka daqe gafarsa qabe dufe qalate nate. Nate yogga fitu wasatti gale bule. Gafa lamaffa intalatti lafatti ilale qabe durbummase fudate. Intala kan qabate halkan kana buleto borumti cakka daqe. Gafarsa gudda daddabe, ilmo gafarsa qabate dufe. Gafa lamaffa gafarsa kana natetti bule, niti godate manatti galce. Manatti galce adamo diebie bu e. Gafarsa daddabe, warabbo qabate gale. Galeti intala waggin cise. Gafa sadafa balbala harkise cufamu dide akka duri; ammanan balbalatu cufin cakka daqe. Egdu suni induftu. Hinni manna ngiru. Intalati kopa argain. Ega malin ta a? Gedani. Balbala afan bana bule, harkise daddabe. Dura gafarsa gudda fideti, bulletio ilmo gafarsa warabbo fide. Kanan ganama boro bor kottu! Getteti. Ammanan ganaman dufani. Kuruppe nni qabate galeti, walakkase nate, walakka daddabe bule. Ammanan fudatani galani. Egdu ganama halkani ndufte, mana banan, ol galani qabatoani Adamin. Qabatani fudani galani. manatti galcani. Fidani moti Dagoyetti kiennan. Motin Dagoye mana kiennef intalatti fude gale, niti godate. Yogga isen ulfoftu intalli, ebonsa dunduma kudafuri bite. Maqanko abba Balotti! Gede. Ammanan Sarboraddo garba kudasan fudate: ani si dufa! gede. Garbi cakka boge malna goda? Gene Sarbon, ammanan walitti mani; firrisuma ganama Adamin Sarbo agese. Gafa Sarbon du u, warqie qubarra bafate Sarbo; gafa lamaffa Dogoyen Sarbo awalame. Namni kun balada! Warqie ega qubarrabafate ha mou! dedani mosisan.

II. Ammanan hinni Gumain moe. Gafa barcuma Guma barcuma Dagoye yabu, akkasitti motumma fuate. Adamin. Adamin Saytanarra dalate, namarra dalatu nu mbiegnu. Fon hinni nndatin ngiru, darbate ndabu, dabbate nqolu. Ammanan asallami! gede Gumada. Guman Oromo ture; buttasa baliese; motumma kan motumma islamati! gede. Akkana dafe asallame Adamin. Gafa hinni du u, ilmisa Guma itti moe, maqansa Gilca kan gedamu. Gilca biya Dagoyeti kopasa moe.

III. Gafa Gilca du u, ilisa moe Onco kan gedamu. Oncon Gimma Gomma Giera itti lole, Hanna daccafate, Nonno Gacci daccafte. Kanaf maqansa abba dula gedame. Waranni Adam dur Balo gedani. Waranni Onco akasitti Balo gdamte. Maqansa Abba Balo gedani. Hinni intala Gomma hierumsise! Fon nama barbadde qalcise. Nitinsa diddeti fon sare gote: bilcatera fon namati! Getteti kiennite. Himagaa! gati gede. Kanan fon nama disifte. Ammanan: hunduma godera! gede! Dadi daka na hafe! gede. Bidiru soksise, daditti naqsise gute. Litetti (dankatti) dugate. Duga kana qomasa d ae agese.

IV. Gafa hinni du u, ilmisa moe Gawe kan gedamu. Maqan waranisa Abba Balo gedani akka warana abbasatti. Hinni digdami torba naddieni qabe. Abban Boqa motin Gimma mari torba erge. Torban marin kun daqteti o manatti galte. Dokse harre qalcise dadaf sogiddatti naqsieseo itti kienne. Namni torba kun natani bulani. Boda kanatti ganama yogga ta e nama gaa kani daksise torbaffati gafa tti giessani. Maqansa Abba Mlate ture. Daqe daga kurra ta e. Bisan fidi! Gede garbittida. Abban Balo barcuma dabate ta e ilala. Bisanitti daga dique. Malitti daga diqta? gene. Nama Guma gaada mnan Guma ggabada; bisanitti yo ani daga diqa, lafa ta a lata! gede. Kanan daksisa! gede. Ega dafti gennan yogga dakutti darbu:

dinq abba Balo! dinq abba Balo!
nu daku nsene; nu dadi sene!

yogga hinni gedu: faga kanarra ka it gede. Maqankie enu? gede. Abba Malati! gede. Malakie waggin biyakieti gali! gede gad dise. Ammanan Gimma galani, Abba Boqatii: akkana gode motin Guma! gedani himani. Namako malif akkana gote? gedeti ergaate Aba Bogan. Siyu nan daksisa! gede Abba Boqatti ergate Abban Balo. Abba Boqan lola itti damate. Abban Balo: na dabarsi! Gommada geden, Gomman: tole! gedeti dabarse. Ammannan dufani Facati wallodlani. Egdu muka yabsiseti egdun kun mukarra tiesse: ya Abba Balo! ya Abba Balo gelte egdun Gimman muuka kana ole ilale. Yogga ilalu nama tokkiti mukarra tiesse arge. Mal Abbako na wamta? gede Abban Balo. Billan morma abbakieti ha kutu. Gede diebise Abba Baloti. Ammanan: qotto na fida! gede Gumada mika kana mura! gede. Qotto fidani, muka kana cirani, egdu kana agesani. Amman Gimma illi ka eti abba fardo afurtami afur fudate motin Gimma. Nanni Gimma guddada. Guman kannisa kana daddabe, gafa tokko lafarra Guma fite Gimman. Ammanan gale baqate Guma. Abban Boqa: namni lama agese dada nnnndibbatin nama afur Gumain agese male! gede siera tume. Kanan ka eti namni tokkicci Gimma ilma abba Gumain kudafuri agese, Nagari Bato gedani. Gimma ilma nama gudda, garbicca miti. Adami kudafuri agese. Kudafuri agese gafa ka e daqe, moti Gimma fuldura: mieka agefte, ya gurba? Gennan: kudafuri Adamin qulla nagese! gede. Malin biekta akka Adamiti? Gennan: Oromon Guma dagna ntayiatu! gede. Adamin islama dagni tayirida. Gede, moti Abba Boqa fulduratti fide agarsise. Ammanan kan bogame hundinu gati kienne. Ammanan motin Gimma gadi dise. Ammanan Nagari Bato qoro kiennefi abba lafa gode gultanna ta e. Gumaif Gimma Abban Boqafi Abban Balo ammanan araramani.

Chronicle of the Kingdom of Guma

I. The Legend of Adam. Adam lived in the woods, lived in the forest of Ebicca Talo (1). In this forest there is a cave. Adam closed the opening to the cave with a stone, milked the buffaloes, killed the big buffaloes and ate them. Such a man was Adam. When the Dagoye (2) went out to hunt, they saw Adam. They saw him and fled. "This man is a wild beast," they thought, and fled. The Dagoy gave a guard to the chief huntsman (3). The Dagoye said to them, "Spy out what this man does!" The guard stood and waited. Ater a while, twenty buffaloes came. Adam rose; he did not take a lance; he followed (the buffaloes) unarmed until he caught one; he seized by the haunches a young buffalo which was quite large. He dragged it to the left and threw it down. Then, taking a knife, he cut its throat. Then he shouldered this buffalo and went to the cave, which he entered. He seized that rock which served as a door to the cave with one hand and opened the door. He entered carrying the buffalo. Although this buffalo was not small, he threw away only the enrails. He did not even take off the skin; he ate the whole of it except the head and the horns (4). The guard went back and spoke to the head of the scouts (5). "What did he do?" the latter asked. "He seized (it) with (unarmed) hands, and cut its throat. He killed it and threw away nothing but its head and the entrails," the guard related to the chief of the scouts.

The chief guide entered to speak with King Dagoye. King Dagoye was then Sarboraddo. He said to the chief guide, "Come, bring hither this guard!" The former called the guard. Then Sarboraddo asked, "Young man, is this story true?" "It is true, my lord," he replied. "If then another sees what thou hast seen, I will give thee a horse. But if this story is a lie, I will cut thy throat like a sheep's," said Sarboraddo. And so they made an agreement. Sarboraddo chose twelve men and gave them to the guard. "Show them (Adam)!" he said. "Very well," replied the former, and with the twelve men he went out into the country. These twelve men watched and saw Adam. "O man! O man!" they shouted and called him.  He lifted up his right foot and looked. The man (Adam) was white (6). "This giant is a wild animal," they thought and were afraid; therefore they fled. Then they said, "When we return, what shall we tell the king that we have seen?" and therefore they decided to remain there another day. Thus they waited two days. A full-grown buffalo came; Adam fell upon this buffalo, seized him, cut his throat and devoured him. While they were looking at him, he finished (eating) it. "This man will eat us next!" they said and were afraid. Then they ran far away and there they stopped. Then, when they had stood still a while, there came a mother buffalo. Adam seized the buffalo and tore off withes, and bound its haunches together (7). Having bound it, he took hold of it underneath and milked it. He drank the milk of this buffalo, then freed it of those withes, and took off the fetters.  The buffalo with its little one went away. Then he (Adam) went toward home and entered his cave. He raised the door of his cave with one hand, entered, closed the door again, and went to sleep. Then they came and told Sarboraddo. "The story was true, my lord," said said to Sarbo (8).

When they said to Sarbo that the story was true, he said, "I will go and seize Adam." He gathered together the Dagoye people, descended to that elephant wood, went and saw him. He stood still in the middle of the wood. "How shall we seize him? A man who milks elephants, who seizes buffaloes and eats them up, who will be able to catch him" he said.  "This stone with which he has closed the doorway, O all my army pull at it!" he said. They pulled but they accomplished nothing. "This is not a man; it is Satan," they said. Then Sarboraddo gave up the undertaking and went back.

When Sarbo gave up the udnertaking and returned, the young daughter of the Dagoye said, "I will seize him." "How wilt thou capture him?" they said to her, and they told Sarbo that the girl had said, "I will capture him." Then he said, "Bring this girl to me." Then they brought the girl to Sarbo. "How wilt thou seize him, my daughter?" asked Sarbo.  "Take me, leave me at the door of the hosue which he enters; give me some fire, give me food for seven days, give me seven guards. In seven days I will capture him!" (9) said she. Then Sarboraddo gave her seven guards for seven days and sent her.  The guards passed the night on a path in the woods; she slept alone. They took the girl then and placed her at the door of the house. Adam had gone out of the house. When they placed the girl at the door, Adam came with a young buffalo on his shoulders. He set down the buffalo. "What odor do I smell?" he said. "It is what is called man, man!" He put down that buffalo, cut its throat, and ate it. He did not leave even a little piece; he ate the whole of it. When in the morning he saw that girl, he did not say a word to her; he passed by her and went away. He went into the wood, seized a buffalo, returned, cut its throat, and ate it. When he had finished eating, he entered the cave and spent the night there. The second day he looked at the girl on the ground, seized her, and took away her virginity. He took this girl and passed the night; the next day he went to the wood. He could not catch a big buffalo; he took a young one of the buffalo and came back (10). The second day he ate this buffalo and spent the night; he made her his wife; he had her enter his house. He had her enter the house and went back to the coutnry. He could not catch buffaloes, and returned after catching an antelope. He returned and slept with the girl. The third day he pushed the door, but it did not close as formerly. Then, without having closed the door, he went to the woods. Then those guards came. He was not at home; they found the girl alone. "Well, how are things going?" they asked her. "He passed the night with the door open, because he pushed it but could not close it. Before, he brought a big buffalo; after one night be brought a little buffalo and an antelope. So come tomorrow at dawn," she said. Then they came the enxt morning. he had returned with a gazelle and had eaten only half of it. He had not been able to eat the other hald and thus he had passed the night. Then they entered to capture him. the guards came at early dawn and opened the door. They took Adam by surprise. they seized him and returned with him (to the city) and brought him into the house (of the king); they led him to the king of the Dagoye and handed him over to him. Since the king of the Dagoye gave him a house, Adam took the girl, made her his wife and entered (that house). When his wife was pregnant, he bought for himself a lance fourteen cubits long. "My name is Abba Balo," he said (11). Then he took fifteen slaves and said to Sarboraddo, "I will come to fight with thee." "What can a slave made prisoner in the woods do to me?" said Sarboraddo. Then they came to combat; at the first dawn Adam killed Sarbo. When Sarob died, Adam took the gold ring from the finger of Sarbo (12). The second day Sarbo, the Dagoye, was buried. "This man is an evil spirit. Since he has taken the gold ring from the king's finger, let him reign," they said and they let him reign.

II. The Reigns of Adam and Gilca. When he moutned the throne of Guma, the throne of the Dagoye, thus did Adam rule. Whether Adam was born of the devil or born of human beings, we do not know. There was no flesh that he did not eat; if he hurled a lance, he did not miss the mark; if he spoke, he did not err. Then he said to the Guma. "Become Mussulmen." The Guma were pagans. Adam abolished the festival of the butta. "This kingdom is a Mussulman kingdom," he said. So Adam quickly made them become Mussulmen (13). When he died, his son of the name of Gilca reigned over Guma. Gilca reiiigned only over the land of the Dagoye.

III. The Reign of Onco. When Gilca died, his son by the name of Onco reigned. Onco fought against Gima, Gomma, and Giera. He made an expedition against Hanna; he made an expedition against the Nonno Gacci. Therefore, he was called abba dula, i.e. "father of the expedition" (14). The lance of Adam was called in ancient times Balo; the lance of Onco was also called Balo. His name was therfore Abba Balo. He married a girl of Gomma. He desired to eat human flesh and therefore he cut the throats (of men). But his wife did not wish it and prepared for him dog's meat. "The human flesh is cooked," she said and gave it to him. "It smells bad! Throw it away!" he said. And thus (his wife) made him give up human flesh. Then he said, "I have done everything. There remains for me to swim in hydromel." He had a great trunk followed out; he had it filled full of hydromel. He immersed himself in it and drank (15). This drink struck him in the chest, killed him.

IV. The Reign of Gawe. When he died, his son by the name of Gawe reigned (16); the name of his lance was Abba Balo as was the name of his father's lance. He married twenty-seven women. Abba Boqa, king of Gimma, sent him seven ambassadors. These seven ambassadors came and entered the house (of the king). (Gawe) secretly had the throat of an ass cut, had it cooked with butter and salt; and gave it to them (17). These seven men ate and spent the night. After this when it was morning, six of the men (of the ambassadors) he sent to the millstone. The seventh, on the other hand, when they brought him forth -- his name ws Abba Malate (literally, "father of cunning") -- went and sat on the millstone. He said to the salve, "Bring some water." Abba Balo was seated on the throne and was looking on. (Abba Malate) washed the stone of the millstone with the water. "Why dost thou wash the millstone?" asked (Abba Balo). "The people of Guma are hard, the cereals of Guma are hard. Let us see whether I succeed at least in softening the millstone by wetting it with water," replied the other. Then, "Have them grind," ordered Abba Balo. Then while they made the millstone revolve quickly, (Abba Malate) sang:

"O wonder of Abba Balo! O wonder of Abba Balo!
We did not think of grinding. We thought of hydromel." (18)

When he had spoken thus, (Abba Balo) ordered, "Rise from that millstone," and he asked him, "What is thy name?" The former replied, "Abba Malate" (literally, "father of cunning"). "Then return to thy country, thou and thy cunning," said (Abba Balo) and sent him away. Then they returned to Gimma and told Abba Boqa how the king of Guma had treated them. "Why hast thou treated my people thus?" Abba Boqa sent to ask (the king of Gua). Abba Balo sent back in reply, "I wish thee to grind, too."

Abba Boqa then declared war on him. Abba Balo asked the king of Gomma to let them pass (through the territory of Gomma). Gomma consented and let him pass. Then they advanced and drew up in battle line on the Faca (19). (The king of Gomma) having had a scout climb up on a tree, the one on the tree shouted, "O Abba Balo! O Abba Balo!" (Abba Balo) raised his eyes twoard that tree. When he looked and saw that man who ws on the tree, he said, "Why do you call me my father?" The other replied, "May the sword cut off the neck of thy father." Then Abba Balo said to the men of Guma, "Bring me an axe, and cut down this tree." They brought an axe, cut down the tree, and thus killed that scout (20). Then Gimma moved forward. The king of Gimma had with him forty-four horsemen (21). The people of Gimma were numerous. The men of Guma could do nothing against that swarm of bees; in one day the army of Gimma destroyed the people of Guma, the army of Guma. The the Guma returned fleeing (to their own country).

Abba Boqa made a law which said, "The warrior who has killed only two enemies may not anoint himself with butter (22); instead it shall be one who has killed four of the people of Guma." Then a man of Gimma, of a good family (23), killed fourteen of the Guma. When he went away after having killed fourteen of the Guma, the king of Gimma himself having asked him, "How many have you killed, young man?" he replied, "I have killed and have taken the genitals of fourteen princes of the Adamites." And the king having asked him, "How do you know that they are Adamites?" he replied, "The pagans of Guma are not circumcised. The Adamites, on the other hand, being Mussulmen, are circummcised (24)." He brought (the trophies) into the presence of King Abba Boqa and showed them to him. Then all the prisoners paid the ransom, and then the king of Gimma let them go. Then he gave the government of a district to Nagari Bato, made him a property owner, and he became a vassal. Guma and Gimma, Abba Boqa and Abba Balo then made peace.

Summary of the last passage of the chronicle. (See Introduction). The chronicle continues narrating a war which broke out shortly after between Guma and the Lieqa Billo. Garbi Gilo, chief of the Lieqa Billo, cuts a plant of makannisa (croton macrostachys) and binds it to an olive branch. He calls together the assembly of the Lieqa Billo and says he wishes to send the two branches bound together to Gawe Onco, declaring to him that he (Gawe) is the makannisa (a plant despised among the Galla, used as a remedy for venereal diseases), while he (Garbi Gilo) is the ever green olive. The deputation having been sent, Gawe and Garbi prepare for war. Garbi Gilo is advised by his son, Nagau Garbi, to avoid a face to face battle with the army of Guma which is more numerous in cavalry; and instead, to have the army pass through the territory of the neighboring kingdom of Gomma, so as to attack the army of Guma from the rear. Garbi Gilo accepts the advice, calls to his aid Gimma Argo, Gimma Gudaya, Kekku, the Lieqa Sibu, the Lieqa Naqamte, and the Lieqa Horda. Gawe is occupied with these preparations; but nevertheless he sends this word to Garbi Gilo: "You will enter Guma, to be sure, but fastened to the tail of my horse." The contingents of the Lieqa Sibu and of the Lieqa Horda arrive to help Garbi Gilo. The latter having crossed the Limmu territory without a struggle attack the kingdom of Gomma. In a single day Gooma is defeated and the Lieqa arrive at the Faca. Their vanguard crosses the river. The royal enclosure of Gomma is taken by the Lieqa and the king's women are made prisoners; the king of Gomma escapes into the kingdom of Giera. The army of Guma hastens to the Faca; it arrives there on a Thursday evening. Gawe Onco says to wait for the dawn before beginning battle, because he is not a hyena that fights by night. The next day, Friday, the Mussulmen of the Guma army offer their morning prayer. Garbi Gilo sends a messenger to Gawe Onco to inquire of him ironically if before joining battle, he must also wait for the Guma Mussulmen to take their coffee.  Meanwhile a column of Lieqa cavallry has crossed the Faca unexpectedly and having crossed the Guma frontier is devastating the country in the rear of the hostile army. Messengers arrive for Gawe Onco who tell him this. Gawe, preoccupied, does not give battle that day. The day after, Saturday, the dvvastations in Guma continue. Gawe on the other hand gives battle and is vanquished. His defeated army is scattered in flight. Garbi Gilo returns victorious to Billo: "I have gained my end! Instead of the five Lieqa having been taken, the Guma have been taken! Instead of the sons of Lieqa having been made prisoner, the sons of Guma have been taken prisoner! Instead of the vulture descending upon my land, the vulture has descended upon the land of Guma, and has ravaged the possessions of Guma! I have gained my end!"

Here my account is interrupted.


(1). Ebicca Talo is a wooded region between Guma and the Nonno Gacci. Guma took it from Ilu Aba Bora in ancient times. Recently a king of Guma (perhaps Abba Gubir) gave this land to Burru Biera to govern. The latter, however, made himself independent of the kingdom of Guma.

(2). This was the reigning dynasty in Guma before the Adamites.

(3). Literally, abba ala means "master of the country." It was the title held by the head and organizer of the royal hunts.

(4). Therefore, the Guma nobility, like the head of the ruling dynasty, eat neither the head nor the intestines of butchered animals. The rule has its origin in the beliefs of Kushite paganism, which are also prevalent among the Somali.

(5). Abba mila (literally, "master of the legs") was the head of the guides and the scouts.

(6). The idea of the descent of certain royal Galla dn Sidama dynasties from the Portuguese is widespread (see song 15, notes). Perhaps saying that Adam was a white man points to simmilar ideas existing in Guma.

(7). It is a Galla custom to tie the hind hoofs of animals to be milked with fetters of withes. Compare song 33, notes, and song 126, notes.

(8). Sarbo is the name Sarboradda, shortened according to the Galla custom.

(9). Notice the repetition of the number 7.

(10). As may be seen, by degrees as Adam draws near to the Dagoye girl, he loses part of his gigantic strength, and, therefore, the results of his hunting become more insignificant.

(11). The custom prevails among the Galla of assuming as a battle name the name given to the warrior's own lance. Here Adam has himself called Abba Balo, even as Fitawrari Sori had for a war-name Abba Gambar (Gambar was his lance). See song 55.

(12). The gold ring was the symbol of royalty in Guma as in the other Galla kingdoms beyond the Gibie. Cf. Massaja, op. cit., vol. 6, p. 6-14.

(13). Compare, however, note 24.

(14). The other kings of Guma, also, up to the last one, Abba Foggi, had the title of abba dula.

(15). I do not understand the word dankatti, which is here found in the text.

(16). Gawe, that is "python." The name is common among the Galla as a proper name either of a person or a tribe, certainly chosen in order to invoke favor for the person or the tribe, the sperpent in the pagan religion of the Kushites being considered as the incarnation of a divinity. Cf. Conti Rosini, ' Note sugli Agau' and my unpublished works on the Walamo and the Komo.

(17). Cf. Guidi, 'Strofe e brevi testi Amarcici," op. cit. p. 17.

(18). That is, as Guidi correctly interpreted, "we ambassadors expected to be received with honors, and not to be obliged to grind corn." I prefer to translate daku as a verbal noun form the root dak, "to grind," rather than as the noun, "flour."

(19). The river Faca between Gomma and Gimma.

(20). That is, the scout had immprudently leaned forward; he was surrounded by the men of Guma. Nevertheless he had the audacity to insult the father of Gawe.

(21). As may be seen, the wars of the Galla reigns resemble in regard to the small number of combatants the usual skirmishes of the Bedouins.

(22). Compare song 34.

(23). Literally, "father's son" See song 23, notes.

(24). Compare note 13 and the historical remarks at the end.

Historical Observations.  It is worth while to compare the chronicle here published and translated, with the sources hitherto known of the history of Guma. There are three pieces of information received from natives and published by D'Abbadie 85; a genealogy of the kings of Guma, with anecdotes about some of the kings, published by Cecchi 86; the part concerning Guma of the very short Storia dei loro regni (of the Macca), taken from a manuscript compendium of Abyssinian history, published and translated by Guidi. 87

The origin of the reigning dynasty of Guma from Adam, the man of the woods, gives rise to an interesting legend in the chronicle which I have gathered. But Loransiyos himself pointed out to me that there were in Guma some who, contrary to the version of the chronicle, maintained the descent of the Adamites from a Mussulman merchant who came form Tigre. This second legend is related by itself in the notes of Cecchi and in the Storia of Guidi. The Guma, according to what Loransiyos tells me, link with the first legend the kind treatment which the Watta traditionally received from the king of Guma. However, it is certain that in order to be included in the oral chronicle, the legend must not appear uncomplimentary to the reigning dynasty. I think that the seocnd legend, that of the descent of the Adamites from a Mussulman merchant, is more recent, and was created on prupose to "Islamize," so to speak, the origin of the dynasty. It is useful to make comparison with the genealogical legends of the reigning dynasties of the other Galla Mussulman kingdoms; for example, the legend which claims that the Awallini (auallini is a misprint in Cecchi) reigning at Gomma are descended from a sheik who came from Mogadiscio, 88 while, according to the Storia of Guidi, the dynasty ws descended from a Mussulman mercahnt who came form Goggam.

Another element, though a secondary one, of the legend contained in the chronicle is the justification of the prohibition of eating the head and the entrails of slaughtered animals. (See note 4). Was the Galla who furnished information to D'Abbadie referring vaguely to the legend of Adam, the man of the woods, when he said, 89 "The flocks of the king of Guma pasture in Atarkada with the elephants and buffaloes; the shepherds do not take women there"?

The references contained in the chronicle to the kingdom of Guma before the Adamites, seem to me important. Even if we regard as later additions the remaks as to court offices -- the same in the reign before Adam as under recent Galla rulers, -- the legend certainly points clearly to the existence in Guma of a monarchy, even before the Adamites. This would carry back farther than seems possible the date when the people of Guma passed form tribal organization to a monarchic kingdom.  The war-name of the first king of the new dynasty, Abba Balo, (a name which afterwards, as the chronicle itself relates, was adopted as a war-name also by Onco Gilca and by Gawe Onco), appears likewise in Guidi and Cecchi, giving occasion for some mistakes, of which I will speak later. The Islamizing of Guma ordered and carried out by Adam is in contradiction of what the chronicle itself says, when in regard to the trophies of war brought by by Nagari Bato from the battle against the Guma, it makes the distinction bewteen the Mussulman Adamites and the pagan people of Guma. This shows how in Guma, as in other Galla kingdoms, the Mussulman propaganda was cleverly carried on to gain to its own casue the reigning dynasty through which, later, the people might be influenced. Let it be observed that, according to the chronicle, the first act of the Mussulman king, Adam was to abolish the festival of the butta.

According to the chronicle, the kings of Guma of the dynasty of Adam would be: 1 Adam, 2 Gilca, his son, 3 Onco Gilca, son of the preceding 4 Gawe Onco, son of the prceding, to whom succeeded 6 Abba Gubir, son of the preceding. 7 Abba Foggi, borther of the preceding. Dabbadi writes 90: "Guma obeys Abba Gilca, whose eldest son is Abba Remo and the younger, Abba Gobar." Now the Abba Gilca of D'Abbadie can only be Gawe Onco, father of Abba Gubir (the Galla custom of having oneself  called by the name of one's most celebrated anscestor is well-known); and, on the other hand, even if it were correct that Abba Gubir was not the first born but the younger son of Gawe Onco, the name of the first born, whom D'Abbadie calls Abba Remo, is correct. The first son of Gawe Onco was called Abba Digga, and from my texts the reasons are clear why he did not succeed his father (see song 23)

Cecchi gives the list: 1 Adam, 2 Dale Aba Bolo, 3 Colle, Abba Boca, son of Abba Balo, 4 Abba Rago Hadi, son of Abba Boca, 5 Nagresso Abba Gilcia, son of Abba Rago Hadi, 6 Abbo. 7 Abba Gilcia, son of Abbo, 8 Abba Dulla, 9 Abba Giubir, son of Abba Dulla. 91 First of all one must notice that these genealogies of the Galla dynaties given by Cecchi are, in general, not without inaccuracies, due especially to the slight knowledge of the Galla language on the part of whoever gathered the information. Mistakes are not lacking, especially in the part which refers to the more ancient period of the history of these reigns: for example, in the base of the kingdoms of Gimma and Giera, Cecchi mixes the genealogy of the Macca Galla with that of the ruling dynasty, making an error afterwards in relating the genealogy of the tribes, which he confuses, thus causing to figure among the ancestors of the Giera dynasty a "Guraghe" (Gurage), not a person but the well-known population of southern Ethiopia. At other times, Cecchi, so I am assured by Loransiyos, to whom I have read the genealogies, has confused the names of kings with the names of dignitaries of the court or vassals. In this list of kings of Guma, there figures, for example, Dale Abba Balo. But is Dale a proper name? I do not know of such a name among the Galla. Or is not rather this king of Cecchi's a phrase, dale Abba Balo, that is "Abba Balo begot?" 93 The two rulers that follow are not known to Loransiyos, who thinks they are two warriors, and, certainly, they could not have been forgotten by him in reciting the chronicle, in which the names of the kings are each of them followed by the name of the father. The fifth king in Cecchi's list might be Gilca or some of his successors designated by his name; but Nagesso is not a Galla name, and another Abba Gilcia reappears as seventh ruler in Cecchi's list. The sixth king of Cecchi, Abbo, whose cruelties are narrated, might correspond to Onco of the chronicle. But is Abbo an abbreviated form of Abba Balo? I do not know that the Galla abbreviate the war-names; in boasting of warlike deeds, it is customary, on the contrary, to abbreviate only the personal name and have it followed by the war-name in full.  Abbo, moreover, is the name under which the Galla venerate the saint, Gabra Manfas Qeddus. The eighth king of Cecchi's list, Abba Dulla, is not a king but the title that all the kings of Guma bore. The title of Abba Dula, according to the constitution of the Galla tribe, was given to the distinguished man who was chosen to command the army; when the change was made from the republican to the monarchical regime, these offices of the tribes were in general retained. Loransiyos tells me that at Gimma, even the Abba Bokku were elected. The king, however, had absolute power, so that practically the republican offices were a decoration without political value. The kings of Guma had reserved for themselves the title of Abba Dula, head of the army, imperator.

The Storia dei Mecca translated by Guidi gives Adam as the first king and cites among his descendants, Abba Balo, whose cruelties he narrates. Of these accounts, two correspond to similar accounts of the chronicle; but of them, the first (swimming in hydromel) is attributed by the chronicle to Onco Gilca and th second, on the other hand (forcing the ambassadors to grind corn), is attributed to Gawe Onco. The mistake of the Amharic historian is clear when he confounds Onco and Gawe under their common war name, Abba Balo. Loransiyos knows the account of the treacherous slaying of Tullu Gangi, king of Giera, carried out by Onco Gilca, a tale which appears in the Storia dei Mecca. He corrected the distich incorrectly related by the Amharic writer of the History thus:

malli Abba Balo gara kiessa gira
mata Tullu Gangi kara gubba gira

1 The cunning of Abba Balo is in his mind. 94
2 The head of Tullu Gangi is on the road.

As to the name Azza Balo Kadana, 95 Guidi thinks it probable that Azza Balo is a slip for azangito: in that case, in my opinion, kadana should be read kadda-nna, and the phrase would mean azangito kadda-nna, "unxpectedly betrayed." La Storia dei mecca then concludes: "After him (Abba Balo) his son Onco reigned and at present he is the king of Guma, Gilca Abba Balo Onco Gilca Abba Dula." In reality (observe that the manuscript of the Storia is extremely inaccurate), the last names are names of two kings and not of one alone: Bilca (personal name), Abba Balo (war name); Onco (personal name), Gilca (name of the father), Abba Dula (title). However, the chronicle is confirmed by these names.

Since in the chronicle the duration of the reign of each king is not indicated, the chronology of the events related in it remains doubtful. Some indication in regard to the more recent part, however, may be secured form other sources; first of all from D'Abbadie. 96 When compared with what I have said above, one makes out that in 1841 Gawe Onco was ruling in Guma. This makes one think that the king of Guma, who in the Storia dei Mecca is called Onco and is said to be "at present reigning," is in reality Gawe Onco (acording to the usual custom of the name of the father being borne also by the son), because the Storia dei Mecca is a chapter of an unedited compendium of Abyssinian history which goes as far as the first years of the reign of Theodore II, who ascended the throne in 1852. Then, from Cecchi, 97 one secures the precise date of the death of Gawe Onco (called by Cecchi Abba Dulla, father of Abba Giubir or Abba Giubri), which took place June 26, 1879. As it is a case of events taking place under his eyes (the mourning of the court of Giera at the news of the death), Cecchi is a sure source. On the other hand, the date for the accession to the throne of the father of Abba Gubir (1854), 98 which Cecchi himself suggests, from information which he had gathered, is surely erroneous. We have seen how in 1841, D'Abbadie gathered the information that at Guma there reigned "the father of Abba Gubir." Not even the date of the end of the kingdom of Guma can be fixed exactly. The last king, Abba Foggi, had a very short reign (about two years, according to Loransiyos). It can only be said that in October, 1886, the daggac (then ras) Tasamma was fighting against hte Guma without, however, having as yet subdued them. 99

Summing up, we have according to the most reliable information:

Onco Gilca
Gawe Onco (ruling in 1841; died in June 1879)
 |                             |                                                                 |
Abba Digga    Abba Gubir                                                Abba Foggi (last king)
                     (ascended the                                                      |
                     throne in 1879)            _____________________________________
                                                        |                            |              |                              |
                                                   Wayessa             Imama       Firrisa                      Altima
                                                                                         (rebel in 1900)          (wife of Ras Tasamma)


The Holy War of Hasan Ingamo.

Hasan Ingamo moti Hadiya tore, islama ture. Dura Sulu waggin walqabe, Banti Manne more, Oromo mma balliesse asccise. Sulu hunduma islama gode, Tulama Soddo islama gode. Wagga afur ta e, boda nigufni Amaara ras Gobanan, fitawrari Garado, Basa boye: islama kanatti dqa! gede erge. Dufan! gedani gafa Hasanitti himani: namasa daccase, ofisa ebo gate, guadiesa qulla harkatti qabate. Gadin kummi guardie tokko qabdu male, ebo nqabda. Hinbarbannu! gette tobata kiennite. Gimmata ganama qabeti, dibbe ras Gobana fite, nama ras Gobana fite gadin. Galgala yogga gau, ra Gobana qabe Soddo baqate Olisotti gale; Gadin Walisotti hingalu, kara bulte. Qidamie ganama wal qabani. Lamaffan Amarri dume; ras Gobana baqate Soatti diebie. Hasan Ingamo yogga qidamie galgala: garbicca abbako! gede fakkare. Ma gabicca abbako gette, ati garbicca rabbitti male! ega kafarta! gede ilmisa. Astafur alla! diebise. Duguma gette, ya Imako! gede. Ammanan biya qabani. Gimmatti erge: gadi na waggin bai! gede Abba Gifarin. Abban Gifar gadi miti dalasan biyako ngiru! gede. Ammanan wagga afur moe. Wagga tokkicca kiessa Gobana saditti diebie, namnisa dume. Ammanan afuritti diebie. Fitawrari Hafta Giyorgis: qamisi natt uwisi Qabienatti! gede. Hasan Ingamo nan lola; ilma laga lagatu bieka! gede. Firawrari Hafta Giyorgis ilma Walisoti qamisi Walisotti uffate. Kanan itti bu e. Boqite dibba kiennani. Gafa Fitawrari Hafta Giyorgis Walisotti somamu dura-barambarasi ture -- Galla Waliso Sulu Cabbo hunduma Hafta Giyorgis warri farda itti dufe: si waggin girra! gede. Tulama Soddotti qaabe gadi lafarra fitacce. Gadi lafarra fiteli, Qainatti gale. Qabiena giya gaa mandara igare irra ta e. Nigufni boda Soatti wama. Gafa Soatti wamu, Hasnaan akka gana dubbi kase biya Ambate, ta e. Fitawari Hafta Giyorgis Uragietti gafa diebiu, ammanan gadin ka e, lola itti godani. Sulu Banti Manne ras Gobana fitawrari gede qmisitti uwise. Sia lamaffa diebie dqau ras Gobanni Hadiya lafarra fite gadi balliesse. Ammanan dufe qabienatti gale. Hasan lafa fite mmo waqa lite namni mbieku kanan bade. Hasan Ingamo essatti baqate? gedani. Gimma bba Givar itti baqate. Abban Gifar islamada. Islama kana massierasatti irra tiesse naccisa bulca! gedani Gobanan himani. Nigufni Amara Abba Gifar Soatti wam: Hasan na fidi! gede. Hasanin Firrida. Qoda kiessa nan kae sitti fida? Amma nigusatti dubbanan: atu wa kagelte! gede nigufni Minilik. Daqi safarakieda! gede. Yogga nni bau balbalatti qabsise, Ankobarritti dabarsise. Abban Gifar Ankobar gia gaa hidame ammanan siftada. Wambadie akka kietti. Abban Gifar yom Gobana Danci ta e, yon buddiena dirqosa manakietti nate? Nigusa nturre Abba Gifar? Guya si kienne. Gibirikie dudati, nati! Hasan yo mana ba Gifar itti gale, yo Hasan biya Gimma diessatt argani, ani mormako si kienna! gede fitawrari Goro Nabi. Ammanan nigufni: dugada! gede. Goftakie nan hika! gede. Kanan galce Goron. Ammanan nigufni Minilik Abba Gifar hike. Akkana ta e.

Hasan Ingamo was king of the Hadiya; he was a Mussulman (1). First he had a contest with the Sulu; he conquered Banti Manne (2). Then he exterminated the pagans and converted them. He made all the Sulu Mussulmen. He made the Tulama Soddo Mussulmen. After four years the king of the Amara sent against this Mussulman Ras Gobana; Fitawrari Garado (3), and Basah Abuye (4). When Hasan was warned of the coming of the latter, he gathered together his people, threw away his lance, and took in hand his drawn sword. The thousand soldiers of the holy war then armed themselves with the sword only and not with the lance, and they swore not to hurl lances (5), (6). Once Friday morning he joined battle, destroyed the subchiefs (literally, the drums) of Ras Gobana; the soldiers of the holy war exterminated the people of Ras Gobana. When evening came, Ras Gobana decided to escape to the Soddo, and withdrew to Waliso (7). The soldiers of the holy war did not enter Waliso; they spent the night on the street. Saturday morning they went to battle. For the second time the Amara perished. Ras Gobana fled, and reentered Shoa. Hasan Ingamo on Saturday evening made his war boast, saying, "Slave of my father (I am)." His son then said to him, "Why hast thou said, 'slave of my father'? Thou art rather only the slave of the Lord. Therefore thou hast said a thing contrary to religion." (Arabic in the text, kafarta.) "I ask pardon for it of Allah. (Arabic in the text, astagfir Allah.) Thou hast spoken truly, my son," replied Hasan (8). Then they occupied the region. He sent a messenger to Gimma, saying to Abba Gifar, "Come to the holy war with me." Abba Gifar answered him, "I am not a soldier of holy wars and in my country there are no zawaya (9).

Then Hasan reigned four more years. In one of these yars Gobana returned for the third time, but his people perished; then he came back for the fourth time. Then said the fitawrari, Habta Giyorgia (10), "Give me the command of Qabiena (11). I will fight with Hasan Ingamo. The river knows the dwellers on its banks" (12). The fitawrari, Habta Giyorgis, native of Waliso, had command of Waliso (7). And so he descended thither. They gave him a hundred guns (13). When the fitawrari, Habta Giorgis, was placed at the head of the Waliso, before he ws balambaras, the Galla of Waliso, of Sulu, of Cabo, all the horsemen came to Habta Giyorgis and said, "We will be with thee." He then went to the Tulama Soddo and wholly destroyed the soldiers of the holy war. He utterly destroyed the soldiers of the holy war and entered Qabiena. He built a residence for himself at Qabiena and remained there six months. Then the emperor called him to Shoa. When he called him to Shoa, Hasan resumed the war and stopped in the region of Ambate (14) When Fitawrari Habta Giyorgis returned among the Guragie (15,), the soldiers of the holy wawr began to fight with him. Then Ras Gobana named as fitawrari the head of the Sulus, Banti Manne, adn gave him command.  For the fifth time Ras Gobana returned and exterminated the Hadiya, destroyed the soldiers of the holy war. Then he advanced and entered Qabiena. Whether Hasan Ingamo sank into the eart or rose to heaven, no one knows; he disappeared. "Whither has Hasan Ingamo fled?" said the Amara. "He must have fled to Gimma, (to) Abba Gifar. Abba Gifar is a Mussulman. He has hidden this other Mussulman in his royal enclosure and maintains and lodges him." This they thought and said to Gobana. Then the negus of the Amara called Abba Gifar to Shoa, ordering him, "Bring me Hasan." And Abba Gifar said to the negus, "What? Is Hasan perhaps a sum of money that I can place him in a sack and bring him to thee (16)?" "Thou goest in search of trouble," Negus Menilek answered him, "Go to thy encampment!" And when Abba Gifar went out, he (Menilek) had him arrested at the door and exiled him to Ankobar. Abba Gifar remained a prisoner in Ankobar for six months.  At last, Goro Nabi Bato came to Shoa to bring tribute to the negus and said, "Of whom art thou negus? Thou hast not the qualities of a negus; thou art a brigand. Robbers do as thou doest. Perhaps Abba Gifar is like Gobana Danci? Perhaps he has eaten dry bread in thy house? Was not Abba Gifar a negus? (God) has given thee good fortune; take for thyself the tribute and eat. If Hasan has entered the house of Abba Gifar, if they find Hasan in the land of gimma, I will give thee my neck," said the fitawrari, Gogo Nabi. then the negus said, "Thou art right. I will free thy master (17)." Then Goro returned. Then the negus Menilek set free Abba Gifar. Thus it was.


(1). See song 43.

(2). Banti Manne was head of the Sulu Manne. See song 44, notes.

(3). Fitawrari, Garado Waldie, officer of Ras Gobana. See song 47.

(4). Daggac Basah, son of Abuye, and therefore brother of Ras Walda Giyorgis. He died at Adua. Cf. Cerulli, 'Canti popolari Amarici,' op. cit., p. 573.

(5). The lance being the noble weapon of the pagans, Hasan swears not to use it in the Mussulman holy war.

(6). In the figurative sense, for which see song 27, v. 69-78, notes.

(7). Waliso or Oliso in southwestern Shoa.

(8). For a similar anecdote, see song 24, notes.

(9) This repy of Abba Gifar, a Mussulman sovereign, to another Mussulman chief who ask help against the infidels is noteworthy. Evidently Abba Gifar feared the Amharic armies. For the Galla name of the zawaya, see song 24, notes.

(10). Fitawrari Habta Giyorgis the present minister of war, was then under the orders of Ras Gobana. See song 42.

(11). Qabiena was the captial of Hasan's petty state.

(12). This is a Galla proverb similar in sense to proverb 31 in this article. Ilma laga "son of the river" is used in Galla in the sense of  river-dweller. Thus the plural Warra laga, "The sons of the river," is equivalent to river-dwellers, when the name Wallaga, i.e., war-laga. 100

(13). The gun called "boqittie" was an old type of gun used in Abyssinia before the Gras.

(14). Ambate is a locality near Qabiena.

(15) That is toward Qabiena, bordering on Guragie.

(16). Notice the pride of this reply of Abba Gifar, and also of the following words of Goro to the Emperor Menilek.

(17). The release of Abba Gifar following the far from respectful speech of Goro Nabi Bato to the Emperor is an additional proof of the kindly policy pursued by Menikek toward the Galla during his entire reign. 101


The death of Captain Bottego. 102

Farangi tokko gibtana kan geddmu biya Sidama kiessa bae. Lafa Sanqilla gubba ggite, Affillo Gareti mbae. Motti Abba Gimbi dabarse, Qiellemitti erge. Obo Goten: kiessuma nigusati! gede, nata kienneo, gati kienne: bulci! gede. Boda: ega kara kana mbaa! gede. Gabatu gubba Wakoso nqabe, Beni Sangul an daqa! wau hindaqtu! gede daggac Gote. Nigufni biyakiena gira. Ani nigusa qaba, nigusatt an si erga male, fiqada kana nqabdu ana! hinni gennan, farangin suni qufe du a barbada. Ega giddis yo ta e, nigufni biyako male nigusa sare gurracca mbieku ana. Ega nigusa saana mbiegne, bor cama batitti na egi! Cama bati na egi! Yogga gedu: giddi nqabu, nan si ega! gede diebise Goten. Ammanan fitawrari Asana: Farangi kuni namnisa tinnoda! gede. Du a Barbada male, mal lola? Ha du u male, mal gona? Farangi kuni tumtuda bor camatii wal lolanna; lak in harra kiessuma nigusati gibiri kiennina! gede Asanan. Ega holota gadi yase, buddiena qolomsasi kiesse, dadi gombo kiessi, farangitti erge. Farangi kuni Tullu Saya kan gedamtu namasa safarsisera. Yogga ergamtu obo Gote safara farangitti dufu, farangi kuni qolomsasi fudeti lafa gate, gombo fude cabse. Bor camatti wal dufu, farangi askaronisa tasallafte, qawe tokkosu qabde. Ammanan: alela! gede. Askaronni gafa rukuttu, namni obo Gote: ya tisisa farangi, malif dufta? gedani. ASkaronni farangi kukkufte. Abba Gaccan Abba CAlla kan gedamu farangi kuffise, gafa hinni guddan kufu, ega farangi hafte harka qabani, walitti dani akka gabbi soatti erge.

A European by the name of Gibtana (1) went forth from the land of the Sidama (2). He crossed the land of the Sanqilla and went forth among the Afillo Gare(3). The king [of the Affillo], Abba Gimbi, let him pass and sent him to Qiellem. The lord Gote said, "This is a guest of the negus," and he gave him food and made him the gifts of hospitality and invited him to stay there. Afterwards, however, said [the European], "I will not go away by this road (4). Passing above the territory of the Gabatu (5), and taking the road of the Wakoso (6), I will go among hte Beni Sangul (7)." The lord Gote said, "No, thou wilt not go there. There is a negus in our country. I have my negus and I will send thee to him because I have not this power (to let thee pass by the road of the Wakoso). Then the European grew proud and sought death. He said, "Even if it is to be by force (my being sent back to the negus), I obey the negus of my country; I do not acknowledge the negus of the black dogs. And since I do not acknowledge this negus, tomorrow at the beginning of dawn, await me." When he had said, "Tomorrow at the beginning of dawn, await me" (8), Gote replied, "Very well. I will await thee." Then the fitawrari, Asana said (9), "This European has few soldiers. He is seeking death, but what resistance can he offer us? Let him die, then. What can we do? This European is a blacksmith (10). Tomorrow at dawn we will fight, but today, since he is a guest of the negus, let us give him the gifts of hospitality." Therefore he had sheep brought, had bread put in a basket, some hydromel in a jug, and sent them to the European. The European had had his men camp on the (hill) called Tullu Saya (hill of the cow) (11). When the messenger of the lord Gote came to the camp of the European, this European took the basket and cast it upon the ground, took the jug and broke it. "Tomorrow at dawn we will fight," he said and grew angry. Then they passed the night. When the dawn broke, Fitawrari Asana drew up his men in battle array. When he came, the Italian (colonial) troops of the European drew up in line of battle and began to discharge their guns. Then, "Forward!" said (Asana). When the troops fired their guns, the people of the lord Gote said, "O flies of the European, why do you discharge farts?" The troops of the European fell in great numbers. The shield bearer, Abba Calla (12) slew the European. When the chief fell, then the Europeans who remained were seized. They bound them like calves and sent them to Shoa.


(1). Gibtana, that is, "captain." The Galla heard his troops give this title to Bottego and thought that it was his name.

(2). As is known, Bottego came from the southern region of Ethiopia inhabited by the Sidama.

(3). The Affillo, river-dwellers of Saint-bon (see song 21, notes).

(4). That is, by the usual way of Qiellem-Shoa.

(5). Gabatu is a region situated between Gambela and the Lieqa Qiellem.

(6). The Wakoso live near the Galal, to the north of Gabatu, two days' caravan trip from the coutnry of the Sibu Ganti.

(7). Such was precisely the plan of Bottego: to return by way of the Sudan.

(8). Bottego in saying, "Wait for me tomorrow at the beginnin gof dawn)" (according to this Galla version), give the challenge with absolute observance of the Galla customs involved.

(9). Asana, brother of Gote. See song 49, notes.

(10). It is to be rememered that among the Galla, blacksmiths are low caste people.

(11). Vannutelli and Citerni call it "Hill of Slaughter." 103

(12). In the acount of Vannutelli and Citerni, an Abba Calla, brother of Gote is mentioned. 104

II. Texts on Ethnological Subjects


The rites of initiation.

The text which follows was obtained from Loransiyos during the last days of his stay in Naples before his sudden departure; therefore, certain ponits in it are not clear to me. But the importance of the information which it contains induces me to publish it, nevertheless, hoping that when it has once been given to the public, others, if not I myself, may obtain from natives the necessary explanations.  I have placed here at the beginning some informatoin received from Loransiyos in explanation of the text. The gada system is not simple, but it seems to have been especially maltreated by European ethnologies. At many points, Loransiyos's information and my own opinion differ widely from the statements of other writers. A bibliography of the chief references to the gada follows this introduction.

Every Galla tribe is divided into ten groups called in Galla gada.  Each gada is made up of all the males belonging to the tribe who are to be initiated at the same time. By extension of meaning, the period of eight years during which the Abba Bokku belonging to a given gada governs is also called gada and is distinguished by the name of the gada that is governing. Thus Gada B stands for group B of those to be initiated, as well as the period in which the Abba Bokku is elected from among the members of this group. The men belonging to the tribe must, before arriving at complete attainment of the rights of nobility, pass through a period of initiation with special rites. Such an initiation is not undergone by single individuals, but collectively by gada. According to the following text, the periods of initiation are four 105 : those who are in the first peirod are called dobbole; those who are in the second period are called qondata; those who are in the third period are called raba; those who are in the fourth period are called gula, while those of the third and fourth periods have the general name of luba or lubba. Since the Abba Bokku is elected from among the members of the gada in passing from the second to the third period, and remains in office until the end of the fourth period, luba indicates, therefore, the members of the gada whose Abba Booku is in power.  The period in which one is dobbolle is equal in duration to three gada periods, that is, to twenty-four years; the period in which one is qondala is equal to one daga, that is to eight years; the period in which one is luba equals one gada, that is, eight years, of which four years (one-half gada period) is the time in which one is raba, and four years (one-half gada period) the time in which one is gula.

The gada are ten; they are divided, however into two series of five each. One belongs to a definite gada group by birth. Every Galla belongs to the gada group which, in the gada series opposite that of his father, corresponds to the gada group of the father. For example calling the ten gada by the first ten letters of the alphabet, one can explain the system by Diagram I.

Diagram I. The arrow indicates the direciton in which the gada follow each other in power.

Remembering that every gada remains in power for eight yeras (a gada period), one sees from the diagram that every Galla arrives at each of the periods of initiation exactly forty years after his father has reached it, there being always between the gada of the father and the gada of the son five gada periods.  Therefore, the period of government of the sons begins forty years after the beginning of the period of the gada of the fathers. The complete cycle of ten gada, that is, the return to rule of a member of the Gada A (therefore, a grandson of a member of the preceeding Gada A) requires eighty years.

Similarly, the complete cycle of the periods of initiation, that is, the period from birth to the end of the period of government of the gada itself, requires forty years (24 dobbolle, 8 qondala, 4 raba, 4 gula). However, the initiation taking place collectively by gada, since membership in a gada does not depend upon age but is hereditary, the cycle of initation may be more or less brief according to the relation between the gada to which one belongs and that which is in power in the year of birth. For example, if in the first year in which Gada A is in power, a son is born to a member of Gada G, the child belongs to Gada B; he will be, therefore, qondala (see  Diagram II) and as such, eight years after his birth, will become raba, and after sixteen yaers, he will have completed his period of initation.

If, on the other hand, in the fifth year of the peiod in which Gada A is in power, a son is born to a member of Gada G, the child belongs also to Gada B, as in the first case, but, since in the first four years of the period in wich Gada B is in power, the qondala have completed the four necessary ceremonies, the child does not belong to the qondala of his gada. For the time during which the Gada B will be completing the period of qondala and then of luba (raba and gula), he will remain outside the degrees of initation (see note to Diagram II).

At the close of the period in which Gada B will be in power, the child will folllow the lot of  this gada of his and therefore will find himself again with Gada B in power ninety-two 106 years after his birth. On the other hand, if during the period in which Gada A is in power, a son is born to a member of Gada E, the child will belong to Gada L, and will complete, therefore, his cycle of initiation in nine gada periods, that is, in seventy-two years, plus the years which pass between his birth and the end of Gada Period A; that means in a minimum of seventy-two years or a maximum of seventy-nine years. Therefore, the period of initation in general has a minium of fifteen years from birth and  a maximum of ninety-two years from birth, and there remains as the only fixed figure, the fact that this period of initiation begins and ends for the sons forty years after the period of initation of their fathers has begun and ended.

I have not been able to get from Loransiyos the complete list of the names of the gada of the Macca. Other sources, however, give more or less complete lists. The best of these, d'Abbadie, Bahrey, de Salviac, and Werner, are represented by Diagram III. The corresponding arrows indicate the gada coupled together, i.e. if the fathers belong to one of a pair, their sons belong to the other. Since the cycle of gada is continuous, it is naturally immaterial with which gada one begins the enumeration. From a comparison of the lists, it appears that the names of the gada differ according as the tribe belongs to the Borana or the Baraytuma, the two great divisions of the Galla tribes in general, with the present confederations of the Borana, i.e. the Harar, the Itu, and the Arussi. Thus, the Maca who certainly do not belong to the confederation of the Borana are, on the other hand, of the Borana branch. Furthermore, their nobles call themselves Borana in contradistinction to the plebeian Gabaro. (see song 141, notes.)

The period of initation of the dobbolle does not require special ceremonies, at least so far as one can find out from the following text. On the other hand, the periods of initiation of the qondala and the raba each require four ceremonies, which must be completed one in each of the four years corresponding to the first half of the period of qondala and to the whole period of raba (which, as is known, is the first half of the period of luba). The four ceremonies of the qondala correspond each with one of the four ceremonies of the raba. 107 After each of the four ceremonies, the qondala and the raba proclaim a law, that is, pronounce the formula of a Galla law which has reference to them. The four formulae of law pronounced by the qondala correspond each to one of the four formulae of law pronounced by the raba. 108 The ceremonies must all be carried out on the plain outside the village where the assembly meets. This information, received from Loransiyos to illustrate the following text, is in two points (the four ceremonies and the four formulae of law of the qondala) in apparent contradiction to the text itself. (See, however, note 4 to text 4.)  It is almost unnecessary to point out the predominance of the number four in  these ceremonies; it is perhaps due to magic significance.

According to the different grades of initiation, the Galla have a different arrangement of the hair. The dobbolle have their hair shaved off, except for curls which are gathered at the back of the head. The qondala let the hair grow without cutting and arrange it by throwing it back. the raba shave off the hair and make a tonsure on the top of the head. The gula make an arrangement call gutu which consists of several tufts of hair interwoven and twisted around the bakc of the head.

The gada are also the basis of the Galla calendar, the Galla counting by gada periods as the Greeks did by Olympiads. The gada whose members are luba (that is, the gada from which is chosen the Abba Bokku) gives its name to the period of eight years during which its members remain luba and its Abba Bokku governs. But it must be kept in mind that while he is in power, four other gada are also in operation, so to speak; three as dobbolle and one as qondala. Calling the ten gada by the first ten letters of the alphabet, for a complete cycle (eighty years), there results this general arrangement (see Diagram II).

Circumcision is connected with the system of the gada, this being the ceremony with which one passes from the third to the fourth degree of initiation, from raba to gula. The festival of the butta is also allied to the system of the gada, this being the last ceremony in common of the second and third degrees of initation, the qondala and the raba. The assembly of the tribe is connected with the gada, only those being able to take part in its deliberations who have passed the second degree of initation; that is, from the raba on.  Only exceptionally are there admitted, as deliberating members, the qondala who have already completed the four ceremonies of their period. The assembly is presided over by the Abba Bokku elected from among the members of the gada which has reached the degree of luba (third to fourth period of initation). See text 5.

Diagram II

Note: It is made clear by the diagram that there are always five gada groups in process of initaion, and the five outside of these grades. Thus, for example, in the first eight years (Gada Period A) the gada groups A-E are in operation and the gada groups F-L are outside of the degrees of initation. The result is again, that constantly, when the gada group of the fathers is going through the period of initation, the gada group of the sons is outside the degrees of initation. Thus the period of initiation of B is completed in the five gada periods in which A is outside of the degrees of initiation, etc.

It is difficult to decide to what this system of the gada was originally due, and it is also doubtful, in my opinion at least, at the present stage of our knowledge, whether the system of the Galla calendar originated from the system of the gada groups, or whether the system of the gada groups is not derived in its turn form the cycles of years. So far as we now know, among no other Kushite people does the system of gada exist. On the other hand, this has been adopted with some modifications by the Sonye and the Pokomo of British East Africa.

If the system of the gada groups were derived from the cycles of years, it could perhaps be compared with the astrological calendar of the Danakil. 109 But these problems of the origin of a certain custom are as fascinating as they are usually impossible of solution; and furthermore, they are secondary in value to the exact knowledge of the custom itself and of the kindred rites from wich it might be derived. And, indeed, present knowledge of the ethnology of the Kushites is not extensive.

References to the gada may be found in the followng works:

Antoine d'Abbadie, 'Sur les Oromo,' (Annales de la soc. sci. de Bruxelles, 1880, vol. 4, p. 162-188).
Manuel d'Almeida, 'Historia Aethhiopica,' (Rerum Aethiopicarum scriptores occidentalis, Romae, 1907, vol 5, p. 477).
Rene Basset, Etudes sur l'histoire d'Ethiopie, Paris, 1882.
Francesco Beguinot, La cronaca abbreviata d'Abissinia, Roma, 1901.
James Bruce, Voyage en Nubie et en Abyssinie, Paris, 1791.
Antonio Cecchi, Da Zeila alle frontiere caffa, Roma, 1886, vol. 1, p. 527-530; vol. 2, p. 30-32, 284, vol. 3, p. 169.
I Guidi, ed. Bahrey, 'Historia gentis galla,' (Corpus scriptorum christianorum orientalium, Scriptores aethiopici, Paris, 1907, ser. 2, vol. 3).
I. Guidi, 'Strofe e piccoli testi Amarici,' (Mitt. d. Seminars f. Orientalis Sprachen zu Berlin, vol. 10, pt. 2, text 1).
Ludwig Krapf, Travels, reseraches and missionary labors... in East Africa, London, 1860.
Jerome Lobo, A voyage to Abyssinia, London, 1735, p. 9.
Hiob Ludolf, Historia aethiopica, Frankfurt, 1687, Book I.
Guglielmo Massaja, I miei trentacinque anni di missione nell'alta Etipia, Milano, 1885-1888, vol. 3, p. 78.
Philipp Paulitschke, Ethnographie Nordost Africkas, Berlin, 1893-1896.
P. Martial de Salviac, Les Galla, Paris, 1901, p. 183-184.
A.W. Schleicher, Zenahu-la Galla, Berlin, 1893.
Paul Soleillet, Voyages en Ethiopie, Rouen, 1886.
Karl Tutscheck, Dictionary fo the Galla language, Munich, 1844.
A. Werner, 'The Galla of the East Africa Protectorate,' (Journ. Afr. Soc., London, 1914, vol. 13, p. 141, 263-264).

Here is the text gathered by Loransiyos ont he rites of initation. It must be borne in mind that this, as well as the additional information received from him and above adduced, refers to the Macca and more especially to the Lieqa.

Qondalli goda bu e, godatti foqa igara accitti siera tuma. Qondalli siera tumeti guya kudason blue. Namni hate godo qondala hindagu. Qondalli gafa tuma tumu, tumtun gofta nqabni, faqin gofta nqabni dara butera gende intuma. Guya kudasan bule, marga buqqise: bakke nu kiessa bulle cala tumame. Gofa kan sirba ka a, niti ulfin fulasa dura ndabatin. Qondalli of kan cabate, niitin kun ulfin irra baa.Ilmi tinnan ilmi guddan: ya qondala, hofkalci! gede marga kute kienna. Marga harkatti fudate hofkalti kienna. Kanan bakkieda gala. Gafa wagga ta u lamaffa bu a. Abban korma duka bae, butta ebise caffie ebise. Kienneti kanan gale. Kanan eba fudate gale. Qondalli calada! gede; garbicci qondala yo du e, guma sant-ama! gede; kanan tuma tume. Diebie gafa wagga sadafta doqqie busa. Sa a walitti qala. Butta qafa qalu, midicca harkatti fudate, addo addatti fudate. Buda yo girati insama. Kanan diebie butasa qale wame niccise Miccilietti kienne. Amma dagna qabati. Ega kan isati caffie. Gafa wagga gutu, dagna qaba daqa, wame ebise qala. Naccise dgna qabata. Kanan ega dobbollin bakke kana akkuma amma giru, bokke buteti dobbolli. Qondala amma maqa fudate. Ega qondalli Dulo ta e qarre murate matasa utun adin inafa. Ega nnui raba ta e; dobbolli qondala tate. Akkasittiolitti kienne caffie abba galla.

The qondala goes out to the plain, constructs upon it an enclosure and there proclaims the law (1). The qondala proclaims the law and spends fifteen days there. Anyone who has stolen cannot go into the hut of the qondala (2). When the qondala proclaims the law: "The blacksmith who has no master, the dresser of skins who has no patron"...(3), he says and proclaims the law. He stays there fifteen days, uproots some grass and: "The plain on wihc we have stayed is (...) (4)" is prooclaims. When the dance takes place (5), the women who are pregnant must not stop before him (the qondala) (6). The one on account of whom the qondala has purified himself (7), that pregnant woman has an obortion. The young men and the boys say, "O qondala, give a blessing." They cut some grass and give it to him. The qondala takes it in his hand, blesse it, spitting uopn it, and gives it to them (8). Then he returns form the plain. When a year has been completed, he goes forth for the second time. He who is rich in cattle follow him, and he (the qondala) blesses the butta (9), blesses the meadow of the asembly. He gies it (the blessing) and then goes away. Then (the other) takes the blessing and goes away. The qondala is (...) (9), says, "If a slave of the qondala dies, the price of his blood is fifty (head of horned cattle)." Then he proclaims this law. He goes back, adn, when he comes the third year, he ahs colelted the dung of the oxen (10). He gathers together the horned cattle inside a single enclosure; a hundred days pass and that dungaccumlates. At the end of these one hundred days, he performs the sacrifice of the butta (11). When he has performed the sacrifice of the butta, he puts the mideicca on this arm (12), he puts the addo (13) on his forehead; then he returns, performs his sacrifice of the butta, invites guests, offers a banquet; and gives place to the Miccillie (14). Then he is circumcised (15). Then the assembly is his. When the year has arrived, he goes to the circumcision; he invites; he blesses; he makes the sacrifice. He offers a banquet, he is circumcised (16). then the dobbolle go forth to the plain. then he (the qondala) gives to the dobbolle (the plain); the plain belongs to the dobbolle; (the latter) takes the name (17), he is called qondala. Not until these four years have thus passed does the dobbolle go out in the plain. The qondala also takes the name (18). Then the qondala is Dulo; he shaves a tonsure; he does not fail to shave his head. When he is raba, the dobbolle is qondala. Thus is transmitted from one to another the assembly of the Galla fathers.


(1). That is, proclaims one of the four formulas of law of the qondala. The text of this forumula, which is given later, is not clear in its last two words.

(2). Thieves are, therefore, excluded form initiation. I do not know, however, whether this exclusion lasts for a lifetime, or whether it is temporary.

(3). This is the first formula of law of the qondala. It seems to refer to people of low caste without a patron. Gofta means literally, "master," but undoubtedly it is to be translated here more poperly, "atron," those of low caste not being slaves but clients. (See Appendix.)

(4). It would seem that this is the text of the second law of the qondala. Here, too, the last word cala is not clear. Cala means in Galla "better," but it does not seem to me tha the sense of the phrase accords correctly with this interpretation. However, as the second law is pronounced in the second year of qondala, it should be further on and not where it is; but this text is rather confused (it must be remembered that Loransiyos, during the last days of his stay in Italy, was in bad health, because he had a chronic bronchial catarrh which produced a violent cough, so that he could not speak long at a time).

(5). It would seem, therefore, that the first ceremony of initiation of the qondala consists in a dance. Certainly in all these initiation rites, dancing is one of the most frequent ceremonies.

(6). Perhaps because of the magic conception of the propaation of the species.

(7). That is, the qondala must purify himself, if a pregnant woman stop in front of him.

(8). Blessing by means of expectoration is very common among the Galla and is evidently connected with the magic beliefs existing among so many nations in regard to the parts of the human body. The one who spits is considered as bound magically to his saliva and therefore to the body of him upon whom he has spat. It is noteworthy that this blessing is in connecton with grass, in regard to which so many religious ideas exist among the Kushites.

(9). These two words do not seem clear to me. Perhaps Loransiyos meant to indicate by the word butta, not the sacrifice but the palce where this sacrifice is usually performed among a tribe. Moreover, the qondala in the second year of his initation would bless the place of the butta, the horned cattle that are afterwards to be sacrificed for the butta, and the place of the assembly.

(10). The cermony of the gathering together of ox dung really takes palce, not in the third, but in the fourth year of the period of qondala. But, as it pointed out in note 4, Loransiyos gives a law of the qondala wihtout the cermony with which it is always customary to accompany the problamation of a formula of law. On the other hand, in a note of mine, independent of the text, I have gathered the information from Loransiyos that one of the cermonies of the qondala is as follows: the chief plants in the ground a tree trunk called muka bore and around this tree the qondala, divided into two sides pretend to fight.

Diagram III.

Fig. 1. After Antoine d'Abbadie, 'Sur les Oromo,' (Annales de la societe Scientifique de Bruxelles, 1880, vol. 4, p. 175).
Fig. 2. After I guidi, ed. Bahrey, Historia gentis galla, (Corpus scriptorum christianorum orinetalium, Scriptores aeithiopici, Paris, 1907, Serie 2, vol. 3, pp. 198-202).
Fig. 3. After A. WErner, 'The Galla of the East Africa Protectorate,' (Journ. AFr. Soc., London, 1914, vol. 13, p. 263).
Fig. 4. After P. Martial de Salviac, Les Galla, Paris, 1901, p. 193.

If this cermony, as is probable, is in fact one of thsoe annual rites which Loransiyos has forgotten in his expositon (text 4), then one would have the complete cycle of the rites of the qondala. Waht Loransiyos says about the ceremony of the planting of the tree is confirmed by Cecchi, 110 who, owever, does not give the name fo the tree planted by the qondala. For the ceremony of the collection of the ox dung, see Cecchi. 111

(11). See song 142.

(12). See song 132, v. 2.

(13). See song 38, v. 2.

(14). The words missing from the text at this point are the beginning of the specific example cited by Loransiyos in explanation of the foregoing matter.

(15). Four years after the butta, as has been already said.

(16). That is a useless repetition. See note 14.

(17). That is, form being dobbolle, as they were before, they assume the degree of qondala.

(18). That is, from being qondala, as they were before, they assume the degree of raba; this is the first period of laba, and the period itself takes the name of their gada. Here the gada Dulo is given as an example. (see Diagram III, 1.)

(19). To summarize, the ceremonies of the qondala are:

The qondala take part in the cermony of the butta as well as the raba with the difference that while the raba at the end of the ceremony of the butta are circumcised, the qondala naturally are not circumcised.


The Investitute of the Abba Bokku.

Egamtu abba bokku nama raba tate; laga ncetu, bisan namni warabe ndugdu. Utu nanau mana nama mbulu. Kan manasati fudate bae isatu natu. Gafa hinni mana abba bokku galu, abban bokku hiyessa miti garba qaba, sa a qaba; barbis ofise qotatte natte, hinnis ofi qotata nata. Ega mana abba bokku yogga sendani garri kuni: dabadda! gedan. Ala dabataniti, nitisa wamani. Bacuma fidi! gedani. Sia torba gadi fidde, sia torba diebifte. Ya giftiko, mali raggi nutti fiddi? Kun gedani. Gafa saddiettaffa barcuma lama batti. Carcumma kanarratti bisan gulte: ta a! getti. Magan! gedanti guyasani lakkatani. Ammanan abban bokku dufe, gabana lakkae; guya qabaf guya akkanati! gede ebisaf. Kanan ergamtu abba bokku galte. Abban bokku dura gafa caffie dagaga bakke bu e, foqa igara. Korma dagaga qala. Gafa hinni korma dagaga qalu, bokkun dura inbuqqa. Bookkunkiena! gede qala. Hora qawifate foqa igare, manatti gale. Diebieti gafa wagga bakke bu e: dogama! gede. Nitin uffa dura nqattamurtu tume gala. Gaggafos motumman bokku gala: mura siera! tume siera! siera abba lubbati! gedeti, arfan lubba ka e bokku ienne. Abban bokku dubbi fiteti: duga banta, gede. Ega kanan bokku mukrarra kae goale. Diebieti gafa wagga: bokku busa! gede, goga sa a qalani, gida sa a uffate, mata korma qale, gafasa itti cabse, mata itti dirata, addo gode miedicca harkatti godate, ega fulasa dibbe, mukka yaba borrata, gafta hinni busa, bokkun mukarra buse: niti lubba qananida, ilmi lubba qana nida, garbicci lubba quananida, kalon lubba qananida! gede, lubba ebise gala. Siacci butta qala naccise obase, doqqie buse. Kanan siera tumata. Tume siera! Mure siera! gede. Kan dura lummi ka e: ha buqqau! gede, kanan caffie gabieese gala. Acci ka eti wagga afur. Afa ta u, hinni amma bokku qabe kuni, dagma qabatu. Gafa dagna niini, qabatu matan addate: garsa gututi! gede: ya gutu, na olci, na bulci! gede matasa hambifate. Ega hinni kiessa bau lubbicci kuni ega kan bira dufanti itti gala. Isanisa akkuma kana tuma tokko godani, boranticca wamani. Kan dura gula geddamti; ramni fudate gala. Isani kan durti gafa baani, kan farda qabu farda fudate, ramni mila adieme. Gulan akkuma waranatti itti dufa. Gulan fardarratu ta e goga uffate dufe. Si kienne, fuddu! gedan. Mirga dabatu! gedan. Dura mirgan ta e bitatti darbe gulli. Ho bokku! geda. Bokku na kienni! gedeti bokkusa harka fudate. Tume siera! mure siera! gede. Bokkun kan dagagati! gede ebisa. Harkasa rukute sirbaf garmamsa ngala. Kanan ebifame, kanan bakke boda fudata. Tumam ega gara biratu Isanis kan duriti gafa baani, gofa buqqisanitti, iddo tokko tulani. Kan bira igarani. Muka gida murani, ega kan bira godatani.

The messengers of the Abba Bokku (1) are raba (2). They do not ford the rivers; they do not drink water touched by others; when they go about, they do not spend the night in the house of strangers. they eat only what each one of them carried with him when he left his own house (3). When they enter the house of the Abba Bokku, the Abba Bokku is not poor; he has slaves, he has cattle, but his slaves eat the produce of the land cultivated by themselves; the Abba Bokku eats the produce of the land which he himself has cultivated (4). Moreover, when they enter the house of the Abba Bokku, they say to one another (among themselves), "Stop!" They stop at the threshold and call the wife of the Abba Bokku. "Bring us the stool!" they say. Three times she brings them the stool and three times she carries it away. They say, "O my lady, why have you brought us this wonderful thing?" The third time she brings two stools. On these stools she pours water, "Sit down," she says (5). "Very well!" they reply and count their days (6). Then the Abba Bokku comes, counts the years, counts the days. "The day on which I shall take (possession of my office) is this one!" he says and blesses them. Then the messengers of the Abba Bokku go back. The Abba Bokku first descends to the plain for the assembly of the ox (dagaga) (7) and makes an enclosure. He sacrifices an ox. When he has sacrificed the ox, the ancient sceptre is taken away (8). He offers the sacrifice, saying, "To our sceptre!" He performs the ceremony of qawisa upon the salt springs (9); he constructs an enclosure and goes back to his house. When in the second year he descends to the plain for the dogama (10), the pregnant women do not pass before him (11). He makes a law (to that effect) and returns. Then the reign of the sceptre is his. "I have determined the law! I have struck the law! The law of the luba fathers!" he says, and the four luba (12) hasten to give him the sceptre. The Abba Bokku, to finish the matter, performs the duga banta (3). Then the Babba Bokku puts the sceptre on the tree (14) and returns. At the end of a year he performs the ceremony of the bokku busa (14). He cuts the throat of an ox with a fine hide. He puts on the skin of an ox, he puts on this head the head of the ox whose throat he has cut, after having broken the horns. He thus puts on the addo (16), he puts the miedicca (17) on his arm; then he anoints his forehead, climbs upon the tree and dives in (among the branches) (18). When he has performed this ceremony of the bokku busa, he says, "The wife is of the luba is sacred, the son of the luba is sacred, the slave of the luba is sacred, the grass of the luba is sacred (19)." He blesses the luba and goes back. Then he performs the sacrifice of the butta (20, gives food and drink, and has the ox dung collected (21). Then he makes a law. "I have cut the law! I have struck the law! The former luba have gone away. Let them be uprooted!" he says (22), and then he places himself at the head of the assembly and goes back. After four years form the beginning of his office, the one who had now held the sceptre is circumcised. When he has been circumcised, he shaves his head (23). "I am an old man with a gutu," he says, "O gutu, protect me!" (literally, "case me to pass the day, cause me to pass the night"), and he arranges his hair (24). Then these luba go forth (from that degree); others come and (the degree) is for them (25). They, likewise, proclaim a law and call themselves boranticca (26). The former (luba) are called gula (27); the raba enter and take (the power). When the former (raba) go away, those among them who have horses, go on horseback; the raba come on foot (28). The gula come like an army. The gula are on horseback and come dressed in skins. "I have given it to thee. Take it!" they say. "Remain at the right!" they say. And then the gula who was first at the right, passes to the left (29). "Take the sceptre!" he says. "Give me the sceptre!" says the other (30), and he takes the sceptre in his hands. "I have struck the law! I have determined the law! The sceptre belongs to the ox dagaga" (31), he says, and gives the blessing. Then they clap their hands and go through the garmamsa (32) dance. Then (the others) are blessed and they withdraw from the plain. The authority to make laws then falls to the other. When the former go out, they pull down the enclosure and pile up the wood in one place (33). The new ones make another; they cut green wood, and make another (34).


(1). That is, those who go to the hut of the Abba Bokku to announce to him officially his election and the begining of his period of rule. As may be seen, the text gives no information as to the rites with which the election of the Abba Bokku takes place, nor as to the choice of these messengers.

(2). The messengers are raba, that is, they belong to the same gada group as the newly elected Abba Bokku. See text 4, preface.

(3). These requirements, all attributable to magical conceptions, are strangely similar to those wich the candidates for hte degree of gilla must observe during their hourney to the Abba Muda. This would confirm what has been said in text 4, note 6, namely that the gilla is a higher grade of initiation. 112

(4). This requirement of eating only products of the land cultivated by the person himself is common among the Galla. Certain famous magicians do the same (see text 12). If one considers the fact that the Galla are forbidden to eat the products of land cultivated by the Watta and others of law castes (see Appendix), the two prohibitions may readily be connected, showing them to originate from the same idea, that magic contact by means of food is to be avoided both on the part of those who have occasion to fear the magic influences of others (as is the case in regard ot those of low caste) and also on the part of those who should preserve their won magic power inteact, as is the case with soothsayers and perhaps with the Abba Bokku.

(5) The rite is described minutely by Loransiyos, yet I do not see clearly the reasons for it.

(6). That is, they count the years of the gada periods which have gone by while they ahve passed through the preceding degrees of initiation as far as that of raba which they are on the point of attaining.

(7). Dagaga is really a species of big ox, and the word is used also in the general sense to indicate the full grown male of big animals. In Amharic, it has come to mean only the full grown male elephant.

(8). The preceding Abba Bokku yields the power to the new one, and therefore one gada period comes to an end and anotehr begins.

(9) The gawisa consists of a solemn blessing which the Abba Bokku bestows by spititng upon.

(10). The text does not say what this ceremony of the dogama is.

(11). Compare text 4, note 6.

(12). That is, the four who had gone during hte first year to the house of the Abba Bokku to announce to him his election.

(13). The text does not say of what the ceremony of the duga banta consists. If I am not mistaken, the duga banta means "that which opens the truth."

(14). That is, upon the tree sacred to the tribe.

(15). That is, "descent of the sceptre."

(16). See song 38.

(17). See song 132.

(18). Observe this impersonation of an ox by the Abba Kobkku. The ox is the sacred animal of the kushites.

(19). The formula indicates that those who have reached the third degree of initiation (luba) are fully guaranteed by the tribe against any injury that might occur to them or to their belongings. This judicial status which the patrimony of the luba assumes after the proclamation of this formula, is express in Galla by the word qanani (the abstract of which would be qanana of qnana'a). Naturally, the word is untranslatable; I have rendered it by the word "scared," which is, however, inapproriate.

(20). The butta is the last initiation ceremony both of the qondala and of the luba degrees. In the four years folllowing the butta, during which the man continues to be qondala or luba (gula), no other ceremony takes place.

(21). The text is confused; the ceremony of the ox dung precedes the butta and is performed, in so far as appears from text 4, by the qondala, perhaps with the permission and at a time fixed by the Abba Bokku.

(22). The text has the usual collective singular.

(23). That is, the hair is shaved except for those locks which serve for the gutu. See the preface to text 4.

(24). The words of the text emphasize the importance of the gutu arrangement of the hair among the Galla.

(25). It means the four years after the butta and the circumcision, which preresent the central period of the gada period, during which the man is a luba.

(26). It seems that one may deduce from this phrase of the text that the Gabaro do not enter the gada of the Galla nobles, or, at least, that nominally they do not enter them, each proclaiming himself as belonging to the gada boranticca. This agrees with what d'Abbadie has written. 113

(27). The text now passes to the description of the ceremony which the  Abba Bokku and his gada go through at the end of their gada-period, that of the handing over of the power to the new Abba Bokku and his gada. It is evident that in the eighth, and, therefore, last year of their entrance into the degree of luba, the Abba Bokku and his gada are gula (see preface to text 4); while the new Abba Bokku and his gada, entering the degree of luba just at that time, are raba. Therefore, the handin gover of ohte power always takes palce from gula to raba.

(28). As a sign of their inferiority to the gula, they, as raba, not having yet received the sceptre (bokku).

(29). As a sign of their subjection to the new Abba Bokku.

(30). That is, the newly elected Abba Bokku. As may be observed, the speeches on entrance into office are reduced to a minimum among the Galla.

(31).  Perhaps the formula refers to the sacrifice of the ox (dagaga), which is the first ceremony of the newly elected Abba Bokku.

(32). We have already noted the use of dances in initiation rites.

(33).  The enclosure where the annual ceremonies of a gada are gone through, is torn down to symbolize the end of the period of the gada itself.

(34). The ceremonies to be performed by the luba in the eight years during which they remain such are, therefore:



Namni nama agese sa a dibba sadi mmo garbicca tokko guma basa. Fon sa a kuni hinnatu. Fira firasa qabate daqa. Lagattu wal daqanti, sani gurracci giddusani dabata. Garbicci guma qabate dabate. Sa icca qalani. Harka fudani fon s a. Ammanan wal ebisani galani. Guman inbae. Garbicci mana warra du eti fudale gale. Garbicci kuni garbicca ngedamu, ilamsati gedu male.

A man who has killed another man pays the blood-price either 103 head of horned cattle or a slave. The flesh of these cattle is not eaten. The realtives go with their kindred and assemble near a river. A black cow is placed in their midst. The slave who is to serve as payment of the blood-price stands still there. They sacrifice the cow and take in their hands a piece of the flesh of this cow. Then they bless one another reciprocally and go home.  The blood-price has been paid. The slave enters (literally, takes and enters) the house of the family of the dead man. This slave is not considered as a slave, but instead, they regard him as their son.

III. Texts of Magic and Prophetic Literature

As is well known, soothsayers and magicians enjoy very great authority among the pagan Galla. Their responses are often handed down from generation to generation in the memory of the sons of Orma: not infrequently the prophecies of the magicians have referecne to entire historic periods. There is, for example, a series of prophecies in regard to the future of Ethiopia, which the Galla have seen fulfilled to a great extent. As to the part which has not yet come to pass, the future is "on the knees of Waqa."

One of the greatest Galla soothsayers was Abba Raggi [literally, "father of prophecy"]. His name was Giggo Bacco; the title of Abba Raggi and the name of Bacco were handed down from father to son, thus forming a dynasty of magicians. Abba Raggi still resides at Hindieba, which is called Hindieba Gacci from the name of one of its ancient kings, a region in the so-called badda Biera, "plateau of the Biera," near Lieqa Horda nad Gimma Argo, dominions of Tucco Danno. These two prophecies of his (7-8) are famous:


Onni Giggo Bacco matakieti mbain, garakieti mbain! motin Kafa Amara aomole tokkotti gurguru barcu tokkotti gango gurgura. Kana ana agarsise. Boda Amarri biya Kafa qabe. Motumman Kafa utu ilmatti interkanfatin afa. Gegen indufa, gabanni mbaddi fon sa afi anan sa a nate gabana bafate. Gafa wagga lamaffa sani nduma. Gegen aman dufe namni wala walu hindiba. Midan bade, ilmi abba buse, dalte mucasi gatte; utu gabanni kuni baddu mbain nigufni du a. Wagga lama walitt ansi gabanni bade. Gafa wagga sadaffa nigufni garbica Ilmorma tumtu Amara obola gode wal fusisu kan akkana nigusa tti dufa. Gafa nigufni kuni moe, gabanni tole. Firako kan dur du e! gede hinni gabanni badu kuni kan giru boe; fardan gangon biya gute, wagga digdami torba moe, du ansa wigga sadi moe. Gafa wagga soddoma ta e, mani ilkan fuldura gaa wagga torba moa, yoi wagga kudatorba moa. Onni Giggo Bacco matakieti mbain, garakieti mbain!

Let not the word of Giggo Bacco go forth from thy head, let it not go forth from thy heart! The king of Kaffa will sell the Amara for a piece of salt; at the price of a barcu he will sell the mules: this I prophesy! But in the end, the Amara will occupy the country of Kaffa. The kingdom of Kaffa will not pass to the son [of the present king]. A famine will come; it will be a terrible time. Thou wilt pass this time eating cow's flesh and drinking cow's milk. But in the second year, there will be no more cows. At this time of terrible famine it will not be possible to bury the people. The grain will be destroyed, the son will forsake the father, the mother will forsake the daughter; before this time comes to an end, the emperor will die. In the following year, likewise, the times will be bad; in the third year the emperor will make the slaves and the Galla, the blacksmiths and the Amara, like brothers, and will have them marry. Such an emperor will come. When this emperor shall reign, the times will become better. Those who will be living at that time will bewail their own dad relations; there will be horses and mules in abundance. He will reign twenty-seven years and his corpse will reign three more.  When thirty years are at an end, a man with six incisors will reign for seven years or for seveteen years. Let not the word of Giggo Bacco go forth from thy head, let it not got forth from thy heart!"

Notes.  As may be observed, all the events prophesied by Giggo Bacco have thus far come to pass. The king of Kaffa conquered the negus, Takla Haymanot of the Goggam, and the Amharic slaves were sold in Kaffa for a piece of salt each ("a piece of salt" was used as the monetary unit in Abyssinia). 114 In the three-year period 1888-1891, the well-known terrible famine afflicted the whole of Ethiopia; in the second year of the famine (1889), the emperor John IV died. There came to the throne Menilek II, who, with an awag, forbade the insulting of negroes and blacksmiths; "Birat gatgac dabanansa bilah atisdabau; ya-negus saratana naw ingi bilah ngaraw," runs the imperial decree, which Loransiyos remembers by heart. ("Do not insult them by calling them smiters of iron, wizards! Say instead that they are laborers of the emperor and the people of Hamitic origin.") By decree of the negus, Takla Haymanot of the Goggam, it was then forbidden to call falasa ("Hebrew") even the recently converted Hebrews; "Kristinna ya-tanassaw hullu simu sammamie balut ingi falasa atbalut" the decree  reads. ("Call all those who have been converted to Christianity weavers; do not call them Heberws!") In reality, however, neither the decree of Menilek nor that of Takla Haymanot succeeded in modifying the attitude of the Abyssinian populations toward the workmen who exercised these trades, which are considred ignoble, and toward the peoples of low caste. While Menilek ruled, the times improved, as the prophecy said. Menilek, however, did not rule for twenty-seven years, as the Abba Raggi predicted but for twenty years (1889-1909), if the date of his actual death is put in 1909. On the other hand, his corpse really reigned three years (190-9-1911). After him reigned Ligg Iyasu, who has behind the two upper and lower incisors another tooth in each jaw (so says Loransiyos); he has six incisors, as the Galla magician foresaw. The date of Menilek's death being palced in 1909, Iyasu would actually have reigned seven years up to his present deposition (1916). Apart form the suspicion that, as regards the more ancient events, the prophecy was made apres coup, the exactness is striking in regard to this last circumstance relating to the duration of the reign of Iyasu, which waas confirmed under my eyes and after I had gathered the text of the prophecy from Loransiyos.

Giggo is the title of many famous magicians; for example, it is that allso of Giggo Kura, Giggo Galate, Giggo Gabata, etc. Barcu is the Galla name of the piece of bent iron used as the monetary unit in the Sidama countries. 115


Hiddi tokko Kallo tokkitti barida ka e, Hindieba Gacci gaa. Gafa Hindieba Gacci gau, nigusa Bokkaha wagga torba moe lafarra darba du a. Gafa hinni du u dagmawi Bokkaha hinni dufa. Lamaffan Bokkaha wayada: yoi wagga torba moe, yoi guya torba moe; boda kanatti imbada Bakkaha, motumma Bokkaha imbada. Gafa motumma Bokkaha badu, namni diman indufa. Namni diman kuni dufeti, lafa Galla nqaba. Dimbi kan gedu dufa. Mandara godeti gimbi ta a. Gallan itti gamtateti, nigusa dima kana sare gurracca gogasa itti danti, faya walama. Gafa hinni du a sanatti bari Baro tarkanfate, adin suni ndufa. Namni diman indufa. Gari adin essuma durbi ta e, inmoa wagga kudatorba. Warra nama Lieqa ka eti indarba. Lakin ilmon Galla namicca kuni dukasa mbose isa darbefi. Dubbi kana isa accitti waqa tokko bieku. Nigufni adin kuni kara goda, kudalama gimbi kristyana gara. Nigufni admin tokko baa, bifutti baa. Litatt an darba! geda. Hinni lita biftuti bae nigufni kuni, abbansa mbiekame adida. Sanqillan gabbara, san Lieqa gabbara, torba Gudurutti dargeti Gondaritti cea. Gafa hinni Guduru ka e, lafti innaqannaqamte; nigufni akkana nduf! nan gede. Goggam billada tasallafe. Bodetti gafa iggan argu nigusa salfi sana, Galla Bisili bae, Sanqillan Commana bae; nigusa kana qabde yo dufte dura billada negde. Amma sangota fida, damma kienna Gondaritti naggasisa. Nigufni bar bae kuni Eggutti tti lold. Lakin Eggu gafa gae ndabata. Motumma wagga kudalama moeti sarde Bokkaha qabe indu a. Ilma Tiewodros kan gedamu dalca. Fardi Tiewodros lafa kiessa baa, ebon Tiewodros inni tti naggasu suni waqada dufa. Gafa Tiewodros dalate wagga torba, nigusa Gondar ya-Galla negu gedame, Naccusar qabe. Namni tti hinlolin; kanko guyatu dume! gedeti, salam gede ergate nigusa Bokkahatti. Gafa nigusa Gondara ka u sana, anan sa a tokko yo elme mandara tokko inqufa; Gabarie afur kan qotte leafti qotte lafti biya hunduma qufa. Nigufni gari nurra dieme! gede boe. Iggollien ilmi wagga kudalama intalli wagga kudalama nigusa kana duka badde. Tiewodros ka eti: Gimbi nigusa kana Gondaratti an arga! geda. Gondari utu ngdin, Lalibala wagga torbatti naggasa; Lalibala gafa ka e, caggien gubba Bonga Sanqillatti darba. Mafis kan gedani lafa lola daqa. Waqni samayo lafa gofa ume, muka tokkitti maqa kan inqabni ume. Namni yo muka sana bieke argate innagasa, Tiewodros Bakkahi suni mukatti sana yo argate: maqankie enu? gede argama. Yo Muka sana wallalefi: Buga nan darba! gede. Lafa Buga kana lola inargata. Kan fulasa dura dabate kan lolli hinargata. Mukicca sana yo maqasa biekefi oda Giggo Kurditti diebne, wagga digdami torba inmoa.

A plant hiddi, an herb that grows by a river, will  rise from the east and will come to Hindieba Gacci. When it reaches Hindieba Gacci, the king of Bokkaha will reign another seven years and then he will pass to a better life; he will die. When he has died, a second king of Bokkaha will come. The second Bokkaha will reign, how long is not known, perhaps seven years, perhaps seven days. After this, the Bokkaha will come to an end, the reign of Bokkaha will end. When the reign of Bokkhaha is ended, a red man will come. This red man will come and will take the lands of the Galla. He will come to the country called Dimbi. He will build a village and will reside in a castle.  The Galla will unite in a league, and they will gird this red king with the skin of a black dog. He will be buried alive. When he is dead, the sea will pass the Baro, and the white man will come. This white man will becomea a relative, cousin on the mother's side; he will reign seventeen yars. He will depart from the Lieqa people and will pass beyond. But the sons of the Galla will weep behind this man's back, because of his departure. This story God alone knows. This white king will go forth by the way of the west: he will go forth by the west, and a second will come and will build a house at Gondar.He will build forty-four mosqes for the Mussulmen, and he will build twelve churches for the Christians. A white king will come forth; from the east will he come forth.  "I wish to go to the west!" he will say. The father of this king who will have gone forth by the west is unknown; he is white. The Sanqilla will pay him tribute; the five tribes of the Lieqa will pay him tribute; he will pass beyong the seven tribes of the Gudru and he will arrive at Gondar. When he departs from Gudru, the earth shall tremble.

I foresee the coming of a similar king. The men of the Gaggam will array themselvs with swords against him. But then, when the king has seen these tribes with his eyes, the Galla sons of Bisili will come forth; the Sanqilla sons of Commana, will come forth. If they come wiht this king, first they will guard him with their swords, then they will bring him oxen, then they will give him honey, and they will cause him to reign at Gondar. That king who has come forth from the sea will fight in Yeggu. But when he has arrived at Yeggu, he will stop. He will reign in the kingdom of Bokkaha twelve years; he will take the throne of the Bokkaha twelve years; he will take the throne of the Bokkaha and he will die. He will beget a son by the name of Theodore. The horse of Theodore will come forth from the earth; the lance with which this Theodore will reign, will come from heaven. Seven years after the birth of Theodore, the king of Gondar will be called Ya-Galla negus ("king of the Galla" in Amharic), and will take Naccusar. No one will fight against him. "My days are fulfilled!" he will say and he will send a message of peace to the king. When this king departs from Gondar, the milk of a cow, if milked, will satisfy a village; the land cultivated by four peasants will satisfy the whole region. "A good king has left us," they will say, and they will weep. Some children, a boy of twelve and a girl of twelve, will be lost in following this king. Theodore will depart to go to see the castle of this king at Gondar. He will not reach Gondar, but he will reign seven years in Lalibala. Then, when he departs from Lalibala, passing above the Saggada, he will go to Bonga of the Sanqilla. He will fight in the land called Mafis and he will go beyond. When God created heaven and earth, he created a tree without a name. The man who knows and finds the tree, will reign. Theodore, this king of Bokkaha, if he finds that tree, will ask it, "What is thy name?" And the tree will answer, "I am Theodore." The secret of the throne, the gold of the dynasty will be found on this (tree). If (Theodore) does not find this tree, he will decide to go to Bua. In the land of Buga, he will find war. They will make a stand against him and there will be war. If then he knows the name of that tree, he will return near the sycamore of Giggo Kura, and he will reign twenty-seven years.

Notes. As may be seen, Giggo Bacco foretells the construction of the telegraph lines from the coast to the Lieqa (thus Loransiyos explains the opening passage of the prophecy), followed after seven years by the death of the king of Shoa (Loransiyos says that Menilek died exactly seven years after the arrival of the telegraph at Hindieba Gacci). There follows a final king, with whom the dynasty of Shoa ends. Then the throne passes to a red king, whose end will be mysterious. With the latter will end the native kings of Ethoipia, and three white kings will come. The first will come from the Abbay and his kingdom will reach as far as Baro; after a reign of seventeen years, he will depart for the west and will disappear. Having returned, he will unite the Galla and the Sanqilla in a league, and having conquered the second king, he will establish himself at Gondar. The second white king will establish himself at Gondar and will show himself more favorable to the Mussulmen than to the Chirstians: he will be driven forth form Gondar by the first white king. The third king will depart from the Red Sea and will go as far as Yeggu; he will then become king of Shoa and after twelves years, he will die. He will have a son by the name of Theodore, the one who will return to unify Ethiopia.

It is noteworthy that the Galla have adopted and modified, after their own fashion, the legends current among the Amara in regard to the return to the world of the Emperor Theodore the First. 116

The first white king, that of Gondar, will meantime extend his kingdom as far as the Sudanese frontier; then he will renounce the throne in favor of Theodore, and will go away, regretted by all.  Theodore will place his capital at Lalibala; then he, too, will pass to the Sudan in search of the nameless tree.  If he finds it, he will continue his way in the Sudan; if not, he will return among the Lieqa.

In the whole prophecy, as in the texts that follow, the kings of Shoa are called "kings of Bokkaha." Bokkaha or Bokkaa is a mountain in the territory of the Gombiccu Galla to the southeast of Addis Abeba. On this mountain are the ruins of the ancient castle of the kings of Shoa. There the atie, Takla Giyorgis had his capital, Loransiyos tells me. On the slopes of the mountain there is a big sycamore much venerated by the Galla of Shoa (Mietta and Gullalie), who go there every year on a pilgrimage. Cecchi 117 speaks of just such a mountin to the southeast of Addis Abeba in the Gombiccu territory, where are found ruins of ancient dwellings of emperors. And it is significant that, according to Cecchi, "these ruins are connected by local traditioins with the legend of King Theodore." The name of the mountain is, however, written Boccan. (It is perhaps the objective case (Bokkaan.) For the plant "hiddi," see song 82. Dimbi is a region between the Lieqa Sibu and the Lieqa Naqamte near Tuqa. Bar is near the Lieqa, by metonymy the Abbay (the bahr l-azrqa of the Arabs). To indicate the mosques, the periphrasis mhabara islam (Amharic ya-islam mahbar) is used; for the Christian churches, on the other hand, gimbi kristyana (Amharic, ya-kristyan gimmb, literally, "palace fo the Christians") is employed. From the Amharic naqannaqa has been formed the Galla passive naqannaq-am, "to move, trembled" (of the earth). Cf. the Amharic tanaqannaqa in the same sense. The following, also, are Amharic words: tasallafe is Amharic, tasallafa, and salfi is Amahriiic, salf. In the phrase sarae bkkaha, the word sarae was translated into Amharic for me by Loransiyos, bieta mangest. I think it is the Persian word Saray , which has passed into Galla through the Arabic. Naccusar is a region on the borders of the Sudan. Caggie is the Galla name of the region which the Amara call Saggada.

Bonga of the Sanqilla (so alled to distinguish it from Bonga, the capital of Kaffa), is a region on the borders of the Sudan. The inhabitants, who are negroes, go naked; the women wear a gold circlet around their necks, the men a gold circlet on the arm. Their country is marshy and unhealthy. The fitawrari, Girata, sub-chief of Kumsa of the Lieqa Nagamte, made an expedition into their country. These Sanqilla of Banga, led by their king Basora, resisted for four yars. Then they came to terms. Girata received as a tribute a considerable number of gold neclaces and bracelets; King Basora was given the title of daggac and changed his name to Abba Sora, to make it more to th taste of the Abyssinians. Finally, Girata, having received five thousand talari from the tribute of necklaces, used part of it to acquire loin-cloths with which by degrees he made the Bonga gird themselves.

Mafis is a country of the Bahru'l-gazal; the Arabic name is Gazirah, or, more precisely Gasiratu'l-Habasi. It is in Nuer territory near the river Sobat. Qoricci barcuma, literally, "the medicine of the throne," means "the secret for winning or keeping the throne." Qoricca means not only mdicine but every other mysterious object or practice. Qoricca gawe, "the medicine of the gun," was the name for gunpowder at the time of its introduction among the Galla. Buga is a coutnry in Sudanese territory; it is situated on the Nile and is at a distance of six days by caravan or two days by river boat from Khartoum. For the sycamore of Giggo Kura, see text 11.  Bisili is one of the progenitors of the Galla; Commana was the father of the Sanqilla (that is, of the negroes). Commana once had a red skin like the Galla sons of Orma, but he was afterwards given a black face by God as a punishment for his wickednesss.


A third prophecy of Giggo Bacco says:

Namni iggi tokko gama milli tokko nafa hinfudata biya; Hindieba Gaccitti mana gara. Gafa hinni wagga gutu, gafarsi Handaqi bae, namni harka bitacca gafarsa agesa. Gafarsi kun waraname hamiena-korratti dufa. Boda namicci gafarsa gese kuni, biya nni bae mbiegne, galada. Biya Hindieba Gacci fudata. Namicci iggi tokko gama milli tokko nafa itti tolefi giela dabe; lakin namni gafarsa gese kuni motumma biyako rra fudata. Namticci iggi tokko gama milli tokko nafa kuni biyasatti diebie namticci kan adieme uqufue, kan nate nqufne galarra biyako fudata.

A man blind in one eye and lame in one foot will take this region.  He will build a house at Hindieba Gacci. When a year shall have been completed, a buffalo will come forth from (the forest of) Handaq. A left-handed man will kill the buffalo. The wounded buffalo will come upon my tomb (literally, upon my misfortune). As to the man who will kill the buffalo, from what country he may have come forth no one knows; he is a wanderer. The country of Hinndieba Gacci will be occupied by him. The man blind in one eye and lame in one foot will fight with him and will set up fortified enclosures; but the man who has killed the buffalo will take the government of my country. The man blind in on eye and lame in one foot will return to his own land. A man who will never be sated with walking and who will never be sated with devouring, will take my land from the wanderer.

Note.  The prophecy of Abba Raggi also came true. Hindieba Gacci ws occupied by Danno Biera, who was in fact blind in one eye and lame in one foot.  The Nonno Migra of Mardasa Konce (the buffalo of the prophecy) invaded the country. Then there emigrated to Hindieba Gacef one of the Tulama, Sida Tufa (see song 32, notes), who was left-handed. He wounded with a gunshot Mardasa Konce, who fell near the tomb of Giggo Bacco. Sida Tufa, having been made Abba Goro by Danno rebelled against him and having conquered him, remained master of the coutnry. At last the Amara, who are indefatigable in marches and very greedy, subjugated the country by means of an agreement between Ras Gobana and Sida Tufa.

For the forest of Handaq, see song 118, notes. A tomb is often called by the Galla, euphmistically, "The misfortune." Giela is one of the many kinds of fortified encloures used by the Galla in warfare.


Finally, Giggo Bacco, having been asked what would be the outcome of the wars, said:

Motumman abba Galla bade, motumman Amara dufa. Dur bisan barti gabe amma bisan Baroti. Bari adf bari adi gurracca motin tokkicci moa.

The kingdom of the Galla fathers will end, and the reign of the Amara will come. The will first take the water of the Abba, then that of the Baro. And a single king will reign over the white river and over the black river.

"The white river" is the Abbay; "the black river" is the Baro. For these prophecies and counsels of the Galla magicians predicting the victory of the Amara and bidding their fellow countrymen not to resist, see song 44.


Another soothsayer was Abba Oda. His name was Giggo Kura and he resided among the Lieqa Billo. His name of Abba Oda (literally, "father of hte sycamore,") and his reputation were due to a wonderful tree, the story of which follows:

Oda Giggo Kura dura tullurratti biqile. Tullu kana Giggo Kura korma itti qale. Gigga Kura suriessa ilma nqabu. Nama wame naccise obase; ilmiko oda kana! gede. Ammanan abba oda gedani. Odan kun tullluratti kan dalate utuma siqu bakke bu e. Bakke kana utuma siquti, dugda dieme. Siacci Giggo Kura gafa du u wagga kudatorbatti mukni giga. Mie! oda gafatta! gede Bakarie ammo, gafa oda raggi daqani, Giggo Kura du e. Giggo Kura du eti, wagga kudatorbatti mukni gige. Giggo Kura du e, maqan Giggo Kura otu ndu in afa, odan hinni gudda huddun galagale, afur biqila hammienasa gubbatti biqile. Arfan Giggo Kura gedani. Iggolie Kura tati odan.

The sycamore of Giggo Kura sprang up in ancient times on a mountain. On this mountain, Giggo Kura used to sacrifice oxen. Giggo Kura was a rich man who had no children. He called the people to a banquet; he gave them to eat and drink. Then he said, "This sycamore is my son." And after that, they called him Abba Oda (literally, "the father of the sycamore"). This sycamore, which had sprung up on the mountain, by creeping and creeping descended to the level ground. From this level ground, by creeping along it passed into a meadow. Then (it was said): When Giggo Kura dies, after seventeen years the tree will be overthrown. Giggo Kura died, but his fame will not die. That great sycamore ws uprooted and four shoots sprang up on his tomb. They called them "the four of Giggo Kura." The sycamore was truly the son of Kura.

Notes. The legend is associated with the veneration of the pagan Galla for the sycamore. The Bakarie here named is, of course, the head of the Lieqa Naqamte (see songs 20, 31, notes). The name of the four shoots which sprang up on the tomb is in Galla arfan Giggo Kura. The forms arfa, sada, sana, are generally used to render our multiplicative numerals: in the names of confederations, they mean "the triple, the quadruple, the quintuple"; here, it means rather a group of four little roots, something like our "four-forked." The adoption of the sycamore is made by Giggo Kura with Galla rites in the presence of the chief men of the tribe.


Another celebrated magician was Abba Bieko (literally, "father of wisdom"). His name was Giggo Galate. He lived on the hill of Catto Galan near the Tullu Korma in the territory fo the Lieqa Naqamte. The Galla went on pilgrimages to this hill, and offered oxen and sheep to Giggo Galate, which he sacrificed. He did not eat the flesh of the victims sacrificed, as did the other magicians; he ate only the grain from a field which he himself had ploughed and sown.  He had the power of quelling buffaloes with his glance, afterwards using them as horses.  Here is a prophecy of his about the future emperor, Theodore (see text 8):

Nigufni Tiewodros harkisa urada. Nigufni Tiewodros kuni lafa Misiiri islama kristyana  goda. Daqeti irra ta a. Nigusais maskobi nigusa islama arie gafa biya baa, nigusa Tiewodros accitti daqa. Biya islama kiessa ta e, wagga torba naggasa. Wagga torbatti nigusa Tiewodros nigusa Maskobitti wal argani. Garri kun gafa wal argani, namnisa lakkame ndumum Maskobi iessatti bae? gede walitti mani wal lolani. Nama Maskobi lafarra fite biya Misiri. Boda Misiritti naggasa. Ega girenisas Misirida. Akka gana motumma bsa bade. Dubbi abba Galla duritti diebie. Namni nagattu wallole. Essuman durbi wal agese. Motumman kani bada. Motumma kan moe sanan Lieqa harka qiesitti gale, qiesitu moa.  Namni Kara Waqatti diebia. Lakin motumman Tiewodros utu biya islamati ol, indebin barcumn suni bada. Motumman Tiewodros badeti, dubbi kana olitti Waga male, nu mbiegne.

King Theoore will have an ulcer on his hand. This king will make Christians of the Mussulmen of the land of Egypt. He will go there and will stay there. The king of the Russians will drive out the king of the Mussulmen and will go forth into that region. Then King Theodore will go there; he will stay in the land of the Mussulmen, and he will reign there seven years. After seven years, King Theodore and the king of the Russians will meet. When they meet, the number of their people will be great. "Whence have come forth these Russian?" (Theodore) will say. They will come to a dispute and they will fight. He (Theodore)  will say. They will come to a dispute and they will fight. He (Theodore) will exterminate the race of the Russians in the land of Egypt. Then he will reign over  Egypt, and after that his life will be passed in Egypt.  In the future the kingdom Abyssinia will come to an end. The time of the Galla fathers will return. The men will fight in time of peace; relative will kill relative. Then this kingdom of Abyssinia will come to an end. The times of the Galla fathers will return. The men will fight in time and peace; relative will kill relative. Then this kingdom will come to an end. The five Lieqa tribes, who had once reigned, will be subject to a priest and the priest will reign. Men will return to the way of God. But the kingdom of Theodore will not return again from the land of the Mussulmen, and that throne will perish. The kingdom of Theodore will perish; and the rest, God on High knows but we do not know.

Notes. The ulcer on the hand, a sign of King Theodore according to this prophecy, made current the saying among the Galla that the future emperor of Ethiopia was the daggac, Gugsa, son of the ras, Araya Sellasie, and therefore grandson of Empmeror John IV. The part that concerns the Russians is trully strange for a Galla magician of past times. The same prophecy of a black king who will come from Ethiopia into Egypt and who will fight in Egypt wiht the Russians, is also widespread among the races of Kassala. Indeed, a native of Kassala told me that hte wise men of his country quoted in corroboration of this prophecy some verses of the Koran, which he, however, could not point out to me. Theodore, according to the prophecy of the Abba Kieko, will reign, therefore, in Egypt and will abandon Abyssinia. Then the Galla will again become independent and will destroy one another in civil strife. The Lieqa will be subject to a Christian priest (for "priest," the word qiesi is used in the text; Amharic, qie and Tigrina, Qasi).

IV. Humorous Prose (Hasa)

The Galla, as has been elsewhere pointed out, delight in the humor of professional jesters, who are maintained at the expense of the small courts. The wittiest sayings of these jesters are quickly elarned by heart and spread abroad. Thus there has sprung up among the Galla a distinct literary form of great interest to students of folk-lore. I have gathered from Loransiyos the three following texts, but it is desirable that a larger collection be made of these brief humorous compositions, called hasa by the Galla. The verb hasaw, which is derived from hasa, signifies in Galla and likewise in Somali, "to converse, chat with." Therefore, the word hasa corresponds very closely to the Amharic cawata, as hawaw to tacawwata. (It has already been said that the Amara call these jesters accawac.)


The three misfortunes of the universe.

Alami udduniya wan aman saditu gira. Sadi kan giru kuni tokko hori guddate bayate. Lamaffan nitikieti. Sadaffan Waqni nu ume. Hori kan guddate tokko wa haman isa tokko. Yo harin bayate, nigufni: kara tokko nanfuda rra! geda. Kanaf amate horin. Lamaffan haman nitikietida. Nama gagna gallattetti; gagni kuni gafa se gallatu, si agesa. Fudate maccati bada. Sadaffan haman waqni nu ume. Tokko adi ume, tokko magala ume, tokko gurratti cilatti ume. Abbakiena haddami dura ture, hataikiena Hawada. Nu hundumtu obolada utu bifakiena tokkiccatti gode, nu wal inagefne wal ingurgurru wal innannu. Akkuma dura Wagni nu ume sanan wal galanne hafna, utu bifikiena tokkicca ta e; amma bifakiena sadi gode. Kanaf inagefna. Kanaf amate Waqni.

In the whole world there are three misfortunes. Of these three misfortunes, one is wealth when it is great and increases. The  second is thy wife. The third is God, who has created us. Wealth which is great is the first misfortune. If money increases, the king will say, "I wish to seize it for myself in some way." Therefore, wealth is a misfortune. The second misfortune is thy wife. She falls in love wiht a valiant warrior, and then, if this warrior loves her, he kills thee, marries her, and flees away to another country. The third mistortune is God who has created us. He has created us, one white, one red, one black as coal. Our father in the beginning was Adam; our mother Eve; we are all brothers. If he had made us all of the same aspect, we should not have killed one another; we should not have sold one another; we should not have destroyed one another. As God created us in the beginning, we should have loved one another, if we had all looked alike. Now he has made us of three kinds. Therefore, we kill one another. Therefore, God, also, is a misfortune.


My Father's chick-peas.

Namni tokko Salalie ka eti Soatu dufe, sumbura buqqifate. Abban sumbura arge: ya ilma hada rawu, mal sumburakiya nattu? Yo hadako rofte ega ati abbakoti. Midan abbako nan nata! gede, sumbura buqqifate fite.

A man departed from Salalie and came to Shoa; he began to pull up [small plants of] chick-peas. The owner of the check-peas saw him [and called out to him], "O son of a mother with whom I have lain, why does thou eat my chick-peas?"  "If thou hast lain with my mother, then thou art my father. I am, therefore, eating my father's chick-peas!" replied the other, and finished pulling up the chick-peas.

Notes. Sumburakiya (line 2) is an imitation of the speech of Shoa for hte Macca sumburako.


The Macca Galla.

The Macca are accustomed to work in their houses and for their families, while the Tulama consider domestic work suitable only for women. So the jester, Abba Wadago, having seen a Macca who was carrying timber on his back, pointed him out to his lord, saying, "Maccicca kana argi! Naddieni ofi yo hobosisani, nama akkasati dalti."  "Look at this Macca! If women were to cohabit carnally among themselves, they would produce such men!"

V. Proverbs

1. Garagalci milli mata  hoqa. "The opposite part, the feet, scratch the head."

When undeserving people have an office or obtain an unexpected victory over deserving people.

2. Ya gowa, si dubban bowa! "O fool, there is a precipice at thy back."

For one who is pleased with false flattery.

3. Olan bulte bieka, akkatti bule abbatu bieka. "Good day, good evening! he knows how to say, but how he has passed the time, his father (alone) knows."

Eeryone can make salutations, but only th family is truly interested in its own relative.

4. Akka biya wallun tyya. "The skin creaks according to the country."

Different coutnreis, different customs.

5. Baan bae nqullan. "The courser once gone forth (from the stall) is no longer pure."

6. Intallille daa hada gorsite. "The young girl wishes ot give advice to her mother on childbirth."

7. Kan oggi dabe danagase bua. "He who has nothing to do, scatters and gathers."

8. Nan tolca ti tortorse. "I make and thou spoilest."

9. Giru diega | gori soeta | rafu fitte | rafu didele. "Dost thou think that the life of the poor man is living? The sprouts are at an end! Sleep is denied him!"

10. Sila nolu kagela dura wami. "Since the beggar would come any way, it's best to invite him first."

It is better to begin by satisfying the most insistent.

11. Sani bau gae wal arraba | namni du u gae wal galatta. "When cows are about to go out, they like one another; when men are about to die, they love one another."

12. Tokko ka uf tokko du u lafti baa. "One rises, one dies, the land increases."

The family property is increased as much by the birth of a son who can conquer new lands, as by the death of an old man who leave his heritage to the survivors.

13. Yomu ati mimmitta | ani sanaficca | yomu ati lilmo | ani qarabada. "When thou art pepper, I am mustard; when thou art a needle, I am a knife."

A corsaire, corsaire et demi.

14. Mukni tokkicci n ara male nbobau. "A single stick smokes but does not burn."

5 Karan soban darban diebitti nama diba. "People obstruct return by the way of falsehood."

On account of the difficulty which the liar has in defending himself against the questions of his listeners.

16. Harka bba tokkotti ibidda qabu nsodatanu.  "The hand of a single person, een if it holds fire, is not feared."

Compare Proverb 14.

17. Isa rgantuf hinargatu. "What has been blown away is not found again."

18. Gibicca korma ta u goranto kiessatti bieku. "That the calf has become a bull is known in the enclosure."

Only the members of a family can appreciate the virtues of their relative. Compare Proverb 3.

19. Ana natun biela nbasu yo dabani tolcan male. "To say, 'O poor fellow,' does not appear hunger, but setting up the oven and baking bread [does]."

20. Kan diegatti rorisse nbadadu. "He who has despised the poor man will not grow rich."

21. Waqni arifattu lafa daqu nolu. "What God has sent does not fail to reach the earth."

22. Iyesnif ibiddi tuttuqa ngallattu. "The poor man and the fire do not like to be poked."

23. Didiga garada dufe ilkan ndiebisu. "The vomit which comes from the stomach cannot be sent back by the teeth."

It is impossible to restrain the impusles of the soul.

24. Angon nannan ango nta u. "To eat a great deal is not strength."

Doing many things does not mean doing them well.

25. Ya gara qalbinko giru. Gennan manni tinnan owale. "When [the husband] says [to one of his wives], O heart of mine," the other looks sullen.

26.Kan argatanirra kan abdatantu cala. "What one hopes for is better than what one finds."

27. Ganaman baani Waq dura nbaanu. "They went forth in the morning, but they did not go forth before God."

However much one tries to do evil in secret, divine punishment will not be lacking.

28. Mana tokko lubbu koqa, mana tokko okkote kaga. "With one wife, the heart is warmed; with the other wife the kettle is warmed."

Two wives are necessary: one beautiful and one rich.

29. Ani hamma nama ngau, namni gara na ngau. "I do not reach the height of others; the things of others do not reach my thought."

He who is not powerful has neither cares nor worries.

30. Ilmon gafa hada nsodatu. "The calves do not fear the horns of their mother."

31 Baddiena nama qubsu ellerratti bieku. "One knows even when one neighbor's bread is in the oven."

Neighbors' affairs are well known.

32. Biniensa rgatani nama nnattu. "They have found the wild beast; they will no longer eat the people."

When an overbearing person finds some one to resist him.

33. Ofi gettun dirsako ngettu. "'I myself,' she said; 'My husband,' she did not say."

One thinks first of all of oneself, then of others.

34. Akka balu sirba morma gallisa. "Move your neck according to the music."

35. Diegin diegefis cora nnadda! gette faqin. "'However poor I may be, I will not eat fleshings,' said the dresser of skins."

However, the Galla believe that the dressers of skins eat the fleshing of the skins they have dressed. The proverb is used of one who, being famous for a vice, swears and swears falsely that he does not possess it.

36. Egienif gabin bode adiemtu. "The tail and repentance go behind."

37. Atu fiddi atu fitti.  "Thou boughtest: thou thyself destroyest."

38. Kan nama o e elie galatti nama bitilla. "He who is warm for anyone will cook cakes for him under the oven."

For friends and favorites, one attempts anything.

39. Hada yu nqabu akkao nqaba! gette qamalen. "'If I have no mother, I have my grandmother!' said the monkey."

If one has not the most desirable thing, at least one has always something good.

40.  Itti qabatafi cini holla gira. "What keeps him is that there is a wedding at his neighbor's."

Therefore he does not go to the festival of those at a distance, even if they are relatives.

41. Ani giran sea goganko gaba bira! gette kuruppen. "'I thought I was alive and instead my skin is already at the market,' said the gazelle."

This means the same as the Italian: Vender la pelle dell' orso prima d'averlo ammazzato, "To sell the bear's skin before you have killed him."

42. Hinqabnu hinaddanu! gette qaqien. "'We have none and we do not shave," said the bald-headed man."

One must resign oneself to misfortunes and assume bonne mine.

43. Qalbin yartun bisan kiessa dabate dieboti. "The fool is thirsty in the midst of water."

44. Na qalanu ndumun qallotti duma male! getti tafkin. "'If they cut my throat, they could not kill me, but with boiling water I am destroyed,' said the flea."

Against each enemy, use the suitable weapon.

45. Gabbin hotu nmar atu. "A calf that is sucking does not bellow."

Thus the vassal does not rebel so long as he has a rich coutnry to exploit.

46. Sorus camus iggi misira lama. "Whether it rains or stops raining, the lentils have two eyes."

For one who does not conform to circumstances and events.

47. Harki nama rukuta male homa naletu. "The outsider claps his hands but nothing moves."

48. Lafti mbiekne qarqa duwada wan itti mbiekne dafqa duwada. "The ascent to an unknown land is useless; what is not known, is useless to toil for."

49. Yo dubbatan bubbe yo cal gedan buqqie. "If they speak, they are wind; if they are silent, they are gourds."

Of futile people.

50. Kan qaban qaba ngane gadi disan bakke gutti. "They took it and it did not fill the ring of the thumb and forefinger; they left it and it filled the whole plain."

For example, when a person is asked questions adn he says he does not know; whereas, if he had not been asked, he would have said even more than was necessary.

51. Kan calun fida! geden mana miti harka kae. "He said, 'I will bring the best there is!' and he put his hand into the hole of the white ant."

The awkward, with the best of intentions, cause the worst calamities.

52. Ullen qoda kopa cabsa. "The stick only breaks earthenware utensils."

On the other hand, the stick is useful to correct those who should be corrected.  The Galla Spelling Book gives the proverb thus: Ullen qoda qofa cabsa; Loraniyos, however says kopa instead of gofa.

53. Akka gara ofi harki marto nmuru. "The hand does not cut the pantaloon according to one's own belly."

It is better to work for oneself and not rely upon strangers.

54.  Kora maccala ndira | kori waq arka gira.  "The saddle and the cover of the sadddle are sewed; pride is in the hands of God."

All articles are made and the rich may buy them; but God alone may be proud.

55. Kan sodatan du a kan enole du a. "What they fear is death; that which never fails is death."

It is, therefore, useless to fear it.

56. Akka mada quba yanni gara gubba. "As the wound the finger, so thought inflames the mind."

57 Kan dibbi dibbu qoltte gindo qarqatti bata. "The one who is oppressed with misery, after having ploughed, carries the plough on his back up the slope."

The poor man endures all misfortunes.

58.  Kan hadan qitte qaya hada fitte. "That (daughter) who has grown to equal stature with her mother, has put an end to the mother's decorating herself."

59. Afan tolan afa tola cala. "A good conversation is better than a good bed."

60. Dubbi barbadda saren gaba daqti. "He looks for quarrels; the dog goes to the market."

Because of the repugnance which the Mussulman Galla have for the dog, if a dog goes to a place where many people are assembled, he will surely receive some kicks. So it is with one who looks for quarrels.

61.  Bor unbieknen qodan buko lama.  "Since one does not know the morrow, (let there be prepared) a vessel with two raised cakes."

62. Kan har ao natte fitte kan bori mal kiessere? "If thou eatest everything today, what has thou kept for tomorrow?"

63. Kan sobu nsokoksu. "A lie cannot be overtaken."

It is difficult without witnesses to prove that a liar is such. It is the opposite fo the Italian proverb: La bgia ha le game corte, "A lie has short legs".

64. Kan qufe damma tufa.  "He who is sated, spits out honey."

65. Daba mana falama wayd. "For one who has no hourse, it is a good thing to bring lawsuits."

Since he has everything to gain and nothing to lose.

66.  Ho u! gennan didde ol kienan hate. "'Take it,' we said to him, and he refused; we put it back and he stole it."

Forbidden things are a temptation.

67.  Nata ngabbatanu yada gabbatu. "Upon food one does not grow fat; upon thought one fattens."

68.  Namni biyana; naga! gede nama gaa; faya! gede namatti faya. "The men of this country say: 'Greeting,' and enter people's houses; they say: 'Hail!' and they carry away the people."

An allusion to the spies and to the seizures and confiscations so frequent in Galla kingdoms.

69. Ani qiensa nqabu quba nan oqadda | ani kiessa nqabu igza nan dow adda.  "I have no nails, I scratch myself with my fingers; I have no brain, I look at it with my eyes.

For one who looks without understanding.

70.  Sani hada intala farso qal o. "Offspring of the mother, daughter is poor beer."

Tel pere, tel fils (like father, like son.)

71. Wamicci ulfina ollun salpina.  "It is lightness not to respond to a heavy invitation."

Here the Galla play upon words; between ulfina, which means both "heavy" and "worthy of respect" and salpina, "light" materially as well as "contemptible."

72. Hidin gadantu ise olantu tufati. "The lower lip scorns the upper lip."

Cf. "The pot calls the kettle black."

73. Karadaf garatu gargar nama basa. "The way and the thought divide people."

As travellers separate at the crossroads, so differences of opinion separate friends.

74. Hora ngain harrotti maccofte. "Thou hast not yet reached the warm spring and thou art already intoxicated with the water of the pool."

For boasts made before going to war.

75 Mi effate na arrabi gede sogiddi. "'[The other time] I was sweet; lick me [now]!' said the salt."

For one who, having once yielded, then prepares to resist the second time.

76. Otu nkolfun gubbadde! gette akkain, "'If I had not laughed, I should have been burnt,' said the parched chick-peas."

The Abyssinians and the Galla while cooking parched chick-peas (Amharic: qollo, Gala: akkae) are in the habit of sprinkling them with water. Then the chick-peas crack (the proverb says, "laugh"). The proverb is applied when distraction from a long piece of work is needed.

77. Sare bisan foni mi effate ndubbitu. "The dog who likes soup does not quarrel."

Because he fears to lose his dinner. Cf. proverb 65.

78. Namni dufu dubbin dufa. "If a man comes, a quarrel comes."

This is almost a literal translation of the Amharic proverb saw matta nagar yimatal, "A man has come; a quarrel will come."

79. Otu kan si ngedan dagese kan si kaan hinnatu! gette sieren. "'If thou hadst heard what (ill) they said of thee, thou shouldst not have eaten what they served up for thee,' said the gossips."

For insincere hospitality.

80. Bieke bofa mila dowe. "Wisely He (God) denied feet to the serpent."

Because, if he had feet also, poisonous as he is, he would have destroyed the world.

81. Otu dullacci giru gorbi duti. "While the old cow lives, the calf dies."

Death sometimes spares the old and the takes the young.

82. Tolten ntoltu intalli akkaon guddiftu. "As to being good, the girl broupt up by her grandmother is not good."

Because the grandmother, left without a daughter, brings up her gradddaughter with too many caresses.

83. Dagae gette nodiesini | arge! gette ndubbatini | kiesasa otu nubatini.  "Do not speak, saying, 'I have seen him,' if thou hast not first searched his heart."

One should know things and persons well before speaking of them.

84. Otu nubatin quba ngubbatin. "If thou hast not examined, do not burn thy finger."

That is, do not put your finger in the fire; do not undertake an enterprise, without having first considered well whether it can be successful. Cf. preceding proverb.

85. Goron dubbi nmargu abban ofi nargu.  "Nothing sprouts int he enclosure [if] the master does not himself watch over it."

This is corresponds to the Italian, "The eye of the master fattens the horse," L'occhio del padrone ingrassa il cavallo.

86. Kan caba tufate agabu bula. "He who has scorned the piece of bread will pass the night fasting."

87. Guddi gudda! Marqan bule afan gubba. "O great wonder! The cold pudding burns the mouth."

When one who is considered cowardly or insignificant vanquishes a valiant man.

88. Mamni igga tokko namni niti tokko tokkuman dumtu. "The man who has but one eye and the man who has but one wife perish in one and the same moment."

Because, if the one eye is lost or the one wife is lost, it is all over with them.

89. Ati gurba dubbi Masasa Sayfu sitti ndebin. "O youth, do not let the affair of Masa Sayfu be repeated in my case."

Masasa Sayfu, daggac, made an expedition against the Gullalie. Notwithstanding the thousand boasts made by him before the fight, he, with his whole army, was surrounded and had to pay the Galla a great ransom. Thus, for the Galla of Shoa "the affair of Masasa Sayfu" became proverbial, like the Italian pifferi di montagna ("mountain fifers").

90. Amarri ndallagu buddien san tufata. "The Amara who does not cultivate the earth spits upon five loaves."

This is said of one who, not having worked himself, despises the work of others.  The Amara are, as is well known, despisers of agricultural work, which, on the contrary, is held in esteem among the Galla.  The proverb belongs to the Harar.

91. Harre waggin ole akka harre dufa.  "He has stayed with the ass; he emits farts like the ass."

Cf. the corresponding Amharic and Tigritan proverbs.

92. Kan barana lakkisi | kott arkako harkisi! "Never mind about the matter of this year; come and pull out my arm."

It is related that a robber who had entered a woman's house, having thrust his arm into a vessel of grain, could not pull it out again. The woman who had been to the spring to draw water, having come back, set down the large jug without noticing the thief and, being tired, exclaimed, "Ya barana!" "Oh, this (unlucky) year!" The thief then burst out with the above-mentioned phrase which afterwards became proverbial.

93. Natti ndufin sitti ndufa! gene busan. "'Do not come to me; I will not come to thee,' said the malaria."

Because whoever does not go to the malarial zone is not affected by the disease. This is said of one who does not attack without being provoked by his adversary.

VI. Riddles

1. Guya nama gadi halkan nama oli. "In the daytime below man, in the night above man."

Answer: The fowl.

In the daytime the fowls are in the yard in front of the house; at night, according to the Abyssinian custom, they are above the ceiling of the hut, that is, in the space between the ceiling of the room and the roof of the hut.

2. Kana du ani oli, kan girani gadi. "Over those who are dead, beneath those who are living."

Answer:  The earth.

3. Irri du a gali du a giddun gira. "That which is over is dead; that which is under is dead; that which is between is alive.

Answer: A man in bed. The bed is usually made of an ox-hide, and the covering is another skin.

4. Hunduma kiessa kae fude bisan kiessa kae fudu daddabe. "It went into evrything and it caught; it went into water and could not catch."

Answer: Fire.

5. Horiko biellama kaba kiessa nkaanu. "My cattle have only one eye; do not put them in the hut."

Answer: Fire, whose eye is the flame.

6. Kadun qaqabu. Kuno qabi. "By running one does not reach it. Here, take it."

Answer: The sun, whose light is present everywhere, although it is intangible."

7. Malka gae qasi. "Having reached the ford, it made a noise."

Answer: the handle of the lance.

When the Galla reach a ford, they have a custom of striking the ground with the handle of the lance, perhaps in order to exorcise the genius of the river.


The Watta: A Low Caste of Hunters

It appears worth while to add here a note on the Watta of whom I have already spoken (song 15, notes). As it is known, we find in Abyssinia and in the adjacent districts of East Africa certain classes of the population engaged in particular trades or occupations which are considered ignoble by the rest of the natives.  Their social status differs in the various districts; sometimes they form low castes, sometimes a kind of trades union with limited potlitical power.  Among these lower strata of the population, the caste of hunters is one of the most important. In Abyssinia, hunting is an occupation noble or ignoble in respect to the animal sought.  Groups which live by hunting wild beasts are considered ignoble, form, according to the universal law of East Africa, a low caste. The Galla call these hunters Watta.

It must be noted that Watta are not found in every district of Abyssinia, -- a strong argument against the hypothesis that these hunters have been a primary low caste of the Semito-Hamitic peoples ever since their origin in Asia.  On the contrary, the Watta have a special geographical distribution in three groups.  The southern group is formed by the hunters living in villages along the banks of the Dawa, north of its confluence with the Awata, on the banks of the Ganal Doria, 118 and the banks of the Galana Sagan, east of its confluence with the Galana Dulei. 119 About this group we have only the two accounts of Captain Bottego and his companions, and of Captain Colli de Felliggano. 120 These Watta are autonomous and have villages and territories distinct from those of the adjacent peoples.  Around them the country is inhabited by Borana Galla, but the group living on the banks of the Galana Sagan is limited northwards by the land, until recently unknown, between the Uba Sidama and the negro tribe of Konso.

The central group is formed by the families sacattered through the districts of the Macca Galla and Kaffa.  These Watta are not independent and live in subjection to the Galla and Sidama. The size of these Watta groups differs, being large in Guma, smaller in Limu and Gimma Abba Gifar, larger in Giera, and largest in Kaffa. Watta families, according to d'Abbadie, 121 live west of Kaffa in the land of the Suro, a negro group mixed with Hamitic elements.  This statement of d'Abbadie's, reported also by Conti-Rosini, 122 is indirectly confirmed by the discovery of Watta in the coutnry of the Gimirra, north of the Suro. Montandon 123 first noticed them in his travels. These are the most western branches; the most eastern branches are the Watta whom Krapf 124 met at Watta Dalocca, a village in the Tulama Galla district of Shoa on the banks of the Awas; and those who live in Guragie. If Soleillet's notes 125 are really referable to the Galan, they should confirm the fact that there are or at least were Watta groups in southern Shoa.

About the central group, we have more material than about the souther.  The principal references are to be found as follows: for the whole group, the account of Cardinal Massaja; 126 for the Watta living in Shoa, the travel notes of Soleillet; 127 for the groups living in Kaffa, the report of the Italian Geogrpahical Expedition by Captain Cecchi, 128 the two accounts of Bieber, 129, 130, a note by Reinish, 131 and a letter by P. Leon des Avancher reprinted by d'Abbadie; 132 for the Limmu group, d'Abbadie's note to the letter of P. Leon; 133 for the Watta of the Awas, the Amharic dictionary of Isenberg; 134 and finally, the notes collected by me from Loransiyos. 135

The northern group is formed by the hunters scattered along the banks of Lake Tana and the Abbay, i.e. the Blue Nile. The hunters living on the banks of the Takkazie, i.e. the Setit, according to an Amara informant of mine, are the most northern branch of this group.  These hunters live in small, separate villages or wander along the banks of the rivers.  They occupy a lower political position than the Amara population. Rava 136 estimated the population of the Tana region at six to seven hudnred persons, but, later, 137 wrote that according to his calculations there were about fifteen hundred Wayto (Watt) around the Tanna!.

About this group, we have the notes contained in the accounts of Bruce 138 who encountered them neaer the Tana in the region of Matraha at the mouth of the Rebb river; of Ruppel 139 who found them near the Tana; of Cardinal Massaja 140 who found them along the Abbay near Tadbe Maryam at the mouth of the Basillo river; of Heuglin 141 found them in Dambya on the western bank of the Tana; of Ferret and Galiner 142 who found them in Gogara, east of Lake Tana; of Isenberg; 143 of Rosen 144 who found them between the mouths of the Abbay and the Gelda, and in Fogara between the Rebb and the Gumara riers; of Rava 145 who found them on the banks of the Tana at the mouth of the Gumara at Igaso between Bahala Maryam and Zanzalima (north of the mouth of the Abbay), the short peninsula beyond Goga, and at Delgi Maryam; in the Amharic texts collected by Mittwoch, 146 and in an unedited Amharic text collected by me from a native of Dambya.

Reinsch, 147 annotating the letter by P. Leon de Avancher, writes: "The Wata are the gipsies and wandering musicians of East Africa. I found them among the Bobos, the Habab, and the Saho tribes. All over Abyssinia they wander unmolested, as musicians, and in like manner among the Galla." If this were true, we ought to find a northern branch of the Watta in Eritrea.  However, it seems clear to me that the statement made by Reinisch is a mistake. In fact, the Watta (Wayto) are not musicians but hunters; furthermore, hunting is their characteristic occupation.  However, in the Tigrinna and Tigre languages wata or watay means "wandering muscician" (they play on a kind of bugle called in the Semitic languages of Abyssinia, malakat) and wata cira in the same languages means "minstrel," "playing on the violin."  Minstrels in Abyssinia have a peculiar position because their trade is esteemed ignoble by the Abyssinians. This circumstance has probably misled Reinisch. But wata, "singer," "wandering musicians"" (the word is used also in the Bilin, Saho and Afar languges as a loanword) has no connection with the Galla word, watta. Possibly, but even this seems to me doubtful, it is connected with the Galla weddu, "song" (thence the verb wedd-is "to sing").  The minstrels do not form a special group of the population with their own peculiar geographical distribution, but are Abyssinians instructed in the arts of singing and playing; neither are they subjected to political and social restrictions, except the prohibition of marriage between them and the noble Abyssinians.

Having thus fixed the location of the three gruops of these hutners, I will outline their ethnology.  First, it is interesting to note the different names by which they are known int he languages of the adjacent peoples.  The Galla, as I have already said, call them Watta, or with a variation common in Galla dialects, Wata. They also use the plural form, Wato or Wato.  The etymology of this word is not clear; it is, perhaps, the national name by which these hunters called themselves at the time of their meeting wit the Galla. However, it is also probable that this name comes from the Kushitic root, from which is also derived the Amharic, wattata, "to wander without permanent occupation." 148

The Amharic name for the hunters of the northern group is Wayto. It is difficult to demonstrate the linguistic connection between Watta and Wayto; nevertheless it is almost certain.  The Kaffa name, according to Massaja 149 and Bieber, 150 is Mango.  However, Reinisch in his Kaffa dictionary gives the name Wato. (It would be interesting to find in the Kaffa name t [with a cedilla under it] instead of t; that would help to explain the change of Watta to Wayto). The name Mango is an adjective (properly a relative form) from the root man which in the western Sidama languages (Kaffa, in Gonga and in Gimirra) means "to tan." It is probable that as the tanners form another low caste, their name is used in a general sense to indicate all low castes, including hunters.  This hypothesis is confirmed by the fact that the Walamo (central Sidama or Ometi Sidama) call Man-a the potters, another trade carried on only by low castes.  This I learned from a Walamo native who also added, "Only the potters, Man-a, among us eat the flesh of a hippopotamus," and this is new evidence of the connection Mango, Mana, Watta. Reinisch after writing with reference to his notes that the sense of the word mango appeared to him obscure, states that it was derived from a hypothetical root mang connected with the Amharic verb mallata, "to strip off hair."  But beside the improbability of the change mallata, mango, this etymology is not correct; for the root of the word is not mang but man.

The Gimirra call the hunters Kouayegou; this is a literal transcription from Montandon and must therefore be given the French prnunciation. 151 We have no evidence of the name given to the Watta by the Suro. The Gurage, accoarading to Captain Cecchi, 152, call them Ruga; the word, however, which he adds in Ethiopic characters is Raga. 153 But is not Ruga a misprint for Fuga? 154

As to the physical characters of these hunters, no anthropometric data have been collected; therefore, the accounts of travellers must be accepted with great caution and applied only to the group visited in each case. The Watta of the sourthern group appeared to Bottego, 155 "men of considerable strength, with flat noses, and noticeably big lips... their color is a little darker thant he Borana's." Therefore, they are pysically different fromt he Galla. "They are not at all related to the true Galla." Grixoni 156 noted the beautiful figure of their women.

The Watta of the central group whom Cecchi saw in Giera 157 had "low stature adn color of a darker brown than the Galla, ordinary noses, lips somewhat protruding, coarse, curly hair;" they were "robust, with beautiful figures, supple." Although Captain Cecchi says before his detailed account, "They (the Watt) do not differ greatly from the Galla," I think that this statement is disproved by his own notes.

P. Leon 158 says that the Watta in Kaffa have the features of negores; but d'Abbadie 159 notes that in Limmu (Innarya), the Watta bear no resemblance to negroes. Cardinal Massaja 160 presents this interesting account: among the Watta, the parents hang a small weight from each lobe of their children's ears, gradually increasing it until the lower portions of the lobes have reached the desired length.  Massaja does not indicate the region in which the Watta practice this custom, but I think that it is probably in Kaffa.  It is evidently allied to the custom of perforating the lobes of the ears and enlarging the incision by the insertion of pieces of wood or metal, a custom prevalent among the Gimirra, 161 and farther south among the Masai and Wakikiyu. 162 Massaja also says that the Watta are darker in color than the Galla. The sourthern group of hutners is thus descraibed by Rosen; 163 "thin people without calves (of the leg), ugly, with narrow foreheads, big hooked noses, and long, projecting chins."

What language do the Watta speak? We have no evidence on this point concerning the southern group.  About the central group, Massaja gives us these data: "Generally they all speak the language of the coutnry in which they reside; but they also have a special language which is remakrably different from any of the languages spoken in thsoe countries.  Today, this is a very incomplete language, losing rapidly its original form and richness because of the scattering of this race and the low condition in wihc they live. During my stay in Kaffa nd other coutnries inhabited by these people, I collected form them many of the words and constructions of their lnguage, intending to coordinate these notes and write a sueful work, but hte loss of my manuscript kept me from accomplishing this." Cecchi adds, 164 "Their language (the Watta), according to d'Abbadie, is as unknown as that of the Zingaro. 165 I have not been able to find any connection in the language of the Watta with the speech of the adjacent populations."

As to the northern group, the informatoin is at first sight very dubious. Accoridng to Bruce, 166 the language of the Watta is absolutely different from all other languages of Abyssinia; Ferret and Galiner, 167 confirming this, add that all the Watta speak Amharic also. That explains why Ruppel denies that they have a separate language, but even he recognizes that further research is necessary.  Heuglin also writes that the language spjoken by the Wayto is simply Amharic. It seems to me that the Watta have a language or jargon which they keep carefullly secret from all strangers, i.e. from everyone who does not belong to their caste. The Midgan, the hunters of Somaliland, furnish a remarkable analogy in this matter of a secret language. 168 It would be very interesting from a linguistic and ethnological point of view to collect specimens of this language or jargon.

Concerning the religion of these hunters, accounts are also scarce.  Massaja 169 says, "They have fewer religious ceremonies than the pagan Galla, but they have a conception of the deity and an obscure idea of the immortality of the soul and the final aim of human life. They follow many dogmatic traditions found in the Bible." Ruppel's notes which concern the northern group state that they have no religious ceremonies nor do they practice circumcision. Heuglin, quoting Ruppel, adds that according to the Amara, who, however, do not give consistent information, the Wayto have no religion. My Amara informant said to me, "Their religion is similar to the Falasa religion (Abyssinian Judaism)." By this, he meant that the Wayto do not follow the official religion of Abyssinia. On the contrary, Mittwoch 170 states that the Wayto have many customs common to the Mussulmen; they use some Arabic phrases, e.g. Alhamdu li'llah, "Praise be to God!" but they have no knowledge of the Koran, and they are not recknoned as members of the same religion by either Mussulmen or Christians. They celebrate the feats of Arafah, 171 the well-known Islamic holiday occurring on the tenth of the month Dulhiggah, which is the most solemn religious feast of the Mussulmen of East Africa. Rava, 172 after saying that the Christians call the Wayto Mussulmen, and the Mussulmen call them Christians, both in a disparaging tone, adds: "However, the basis of their religion is clearly Moslem."  I do not understand why Rava thinks so: the facts which we know, -- no circumcision, and the eating of flesh impure alike to the Moslems and the Christians of Abyssinia, -- definitely deny this hypothesis. Probably Rava gives the literal reports of the natives without analysis. It is noteworthy that he mentions that a Wayto said to him, "We are Mussulmen, but we eat the hippopotamus and we think we have the power to make it pure." All these facts induce me to believe that while the hunters (Watta, Wayto, etc.) have in general kept their ancient paganism of which we know nothing, in many places they have accepted some of the forms of the religions of the peoples who surround them, without understanding the real meaning of these customs. Anyone who knows what a strange mixture of Paganism, Islamism, and Christianity was practiced in many Galla tribes after the Amara conquest will not be surprised at the present indeterminate state of Watta religion.

The clothes of the hunters of the central group are thus described by Cecchi 173: "The men wear conical hats of monkey fur, and like the Galla of the poorer classes, they fasten around the body a large apron made of calfskin, of leopard or antelope hide. 174 The women pass under their shoulders a large leather band which they use as a sort of basket for carrying their children. The boys wear a skin which is knotted on one shoulder, leaving the other shoulder and the rear of the body uncovered." Massaja also says that they wear on their heads a hot of monkey fur, pyramidal in form. Among the Wayto of the northern group who were photographed by Rosen, one has wrapped about him a band, perhaps of cotton cloth, which is knotted on one shoulder in the manner Cecchi describes. The other, however, wears the Abyssinian toga.

The arms of the Watta in addition to the javelin later described, consist among the central group of a bow and arrows. According to Cecchi, 175 they also use crooked knives and spears, but it is probable that by the word "spear" he means javelin.

As to their habaitations, Bottego, with regard to the southern group, simply tells us that they live in villages along the banks fo rivers in spots considered unhalthy by the Borana or, I think, shunned because of the Galla belief that genii live in rivers, (see songs 50 and 117). He also adds that the Watta huts are covered with the leaves of the palm tree.  The Watta of the central group, according to the unanimous opinion of travellers and also of my native informant, live on the outskirts of the Galla, Kaffa, and even Suro villages. Cecchi 176 states that in Giera, they live in the woods and build themselves hiding places in the trees. The Wayto of the northern group, according to Heuglin, inhabit portable huts of cane, shaped like an oven. Rosen also writes that the huts are constructed of cane, perhaps of cyperus papyrus. Rava noticed on two Wayto huts climbing plants in bloom. Massaja met a family which had taken refuge in a cave.

Their chief occupation, naturally, is hunting, especailly the hunting of othe hippopotamus. For the Monophysite as for the Mussulman, the flesh of othe hippopotamus is impure, but before theis religious motive, there certainly existed a more anc ient taboo, because even the pagan Kusites consider the hippopotamus unclean. It is a question very difficult to decide whether these ideas are derived from the oldest beliefs of the Semito-Hamites 177 or from the common superstitions about rivers, on account of which the Kushites do not eat fish, and some tribes believe that the crocodile is the embodiment of a spirit. Certainly at present all over Ethiopia the hunting of the hippopotamus is inglorious. 178

The manner of hunting is the same in all three groups of Watta; when the beast comes up to the surface to breathe, they strike it with javelins, the poisoned heads of which are detachable. According to Ruppel, the poison causes the death of the animal within twelve hours. Heuglin says this poison is extracted from a plant with sharp thorns, called in Amharic ya-gomari soh, "The thorn of the hippopotamus," a plant of the genus aterachantus. Heuglin also states that the iron point of the javelin has a special mark  to distinguish the hunger who ahs killed the hippopotamus, in case the animal after being wounded is carried away by the current. Each Wayto family has its own peculiar mark.

The utilization of the products of the hunting is everywhere the same. With the skin of the hippopotamus, the Watta make switches, the famous kurbag, and less frequently shields; the teeth are sold as ivory; the fat is used by the Watta to anoint themselves (this, according to Cecchi and Heuglin, causes an offensive stench of the body); the tail is cut off and hung form the ceiling of the hut as a triumphal spoil; the meat, according to all sources, is eaten by the hunters, thus proving that the poison used to kill the hippototamus is not harmful to men. Heuglin also says that they dry the meat to preserve it. In addition to the hippopotamus, the Watta of the central group at least, also hunt monkeys, aquatic birds, and crocodiles.

As to occupations other than hunting, those of the central group, according to P. Leon des Avancher, Massaja, and Cecchi, are the executors of the death sentences decreed by the kings of Galla and Kaffa countries. This is confirmed also by the Galla-Italian dictionary compiled by Viterbo. 179 This dictionary translates Watta and Watto, "executioner."  P. Leon adds that they also cut wood for their patrons, and Cecchi says that they tan skins. This is perhaps a mistake because of the frequent confusion of the two low castes, the Watta and the tanners. But still it is probable that the Watta, although chiefly hunters, also engage in other occupations esteemed ignoble. Cecchi states the Watta make their own knives. Those of the northern group are also fishers and boatmen. They construct a kind of raft (called in Amharic tankua), putting together canes of the papyrus (cyperus papyrus), and laying them in piles. The rafts are pushed by one oar only, with which they row alternately to the right and to the left. Moreover, all these hunters of the northern and central gorup are considered by the Amara, the Galla, and the Sidama to be sorcerers, and rich in magical powers.  Their malediction is much feared. This helps to lighten for them the yoke of the high castes.

As the low castes of Somaliland are called by the insulting nickname bahth uno, i.e. "dead-eating" (those who eat impure meat), so the most uusal reason of contempt for the huters of Abyssinia is their eating flesh of unclean animals, e.g. the hippopotamus, monkeys, aquatic birds (the Galla call the water-hen hinaqo Saytana, "the fowl of Satan"), hares and wild boars.  Naturally the popular imagination has exaggeratedly imputed to the contemned Wayto all other kinds of impure foods; even crocodiles, 180 elephants (accoarding to P. Leon), and serpents. 181

We may distinguish two legal codes of the Watta (Wayto, etc.); one governing their relations among themselves, the other governing their relations to the higher castes.  We know almost nothing about the law of the Watta. Massaja tells us that in the central group marriage brother and sister is not forbidden by these hunters forced into endogamy  by the continguous populations. Bieber relates that those living in Kaffa have a pseudo-king called Mango tato, i.e., "the king of the Mango" who has his residence in Andarasa. 182 This statement is very interesting as a sign that the Watta have kept in Kaffa at least an appearance of political organization. 183 About the northern group we know also from the note by Heuglin that the Wayto impress property marks on their hunting javelins.

The information concerning the Kushitic and Abyssinian Semitic laws concerning the Watta (Wayto, etc.) of the central group 184 known at present is:
1. Marriage is forbidden between Amara, Galla or Kaffa and the Watt (Wayto, etc.). This rule rigorously kept forces the hutners into endogamy.
2. Watta are forbidden to pass beyond the threshold of a noble's house.
3. Nobles are forbidden to pass beyond the threshold of the Watt htss.
4. Any food touched by Watta is taboo beause of their ritual impurity; this extends even to corn sowed or reaped by thm.
5. The Watta do not fight in the GAlla, Kaffa, and Amara armies, remaining in their villages during time of war.

These rules apply generally to the central and sourthern groups. In addition, there are other rules which especially apply to single groups. For example, among the Watta of the central group in Kaffa before the Amara conquest, the hunters, as one may readiy infer form the statements of Massaja and P. Leon, lived under the patronage of the king or of a high casgte Kaffian. I suppose that there were also Watta living out of patronage, and therefore outside the law. The client Watta was obliged to pay some services to his patron. For those living under the king's patronage, the services were the execution of death sentences (according to Cecchi, also the custody fo the criminals condemned to imprisonment), and the guarding of the gates of the kingdom. For those living under the patronage of a Kaffian of high caste, P. Leon states only that their service was the cutting of wood for their patron.  The hunters living under patronage were not the property of the men of high caste and could not be sold. 185 In the Galla countries, according to Massaja, they had a better legal status than in Kaffa, but this statement appears to be inexact, as it is contradicted by the description of their life in Giera, given by Cecchi. According to Loransiyos, there is no vengeance or blood-price for Watta killed by men of high caste. However Soleillet 186 refers to a Galla law which, enumerating the different blood-prices, fixed at 70 oxen the blood-price for killing a Watta. It is probable that this apparent contradiction has been occasioned by the fact that Loransiyos alluded to the Watta living out of patronage, and Soleillet to those living under patronage. This hypothesis may be confirmed by the similar terms of the Somali law. According to DeCastro, 187 and I do not know the source from which he has gathered this informaiton, the hunters in Kaffa may not possess arms. This is evidently inexact; I think that he meant that the Watta are forbidden to possess certain arms considered for nobles only, as the Somali law prohibits the low castes' possessing spears. For the northern group, all that we know about the particular terms of the Amara law concerning the Wayto is that, according to my Amara informant of Dambya, the Wayto have no landed property (resi in Amharic).

Thus there naturally arises the question:  Waht is the ethnic origin of the Watta and why have they such a political posiiton today? First of all, it is interesting to relate the traditions of the Watta themselves concerning this. Massaja, about the central group, writes: 188"It is a firm tradition of this race (i.e. the Watta) that in Kaffa as in Abyssinia, they were the original lords and free peoples of these countries," and in another place: 189 "However, it appears that in the beginning, the greater part of the regions south of the Blue Nile were occupied by the race called in Kaffa Mango and Watta by the Galla, and Wayto in the neighborhood of Gondar. These peoples, lords from many centuries, in almost all the Ethiopic countries of southwestern Abyssinia, lived tranquilly according to their customs and traditions until an Abyssinian emperor who had his residency in Autotto (Entotto), today a Galla village of Shoa, invaded the countries of the Watta with a large Christian army and occupied very promptly the countries of the Innarya, subjugating the native races."  The second statement of Massaja alludes perhaps to the expedition of the emperor Amda Syon to the southern Abyssinia (see song 21, notes); but the population of Innarya was at that time Sidama, at least predominantly, and not Watta. Moreover, it is not true that the capital of Abyssinia was Entotto. The first account is then more accurate. Isenberg also states: "They (i.e. the Watta) pretend to keep the original institutions of the Galla pure, whereas all their other Galla brethren are said to have fallen off."  This is a new proof of the survival among the Watta of traditions of an origin more ancient and more noble than the neighboring peoples, but Isenberg may give the informaiton in an inaccurate form; certainly the Watta are not the "brethren" of the Galla.

As to the northern group, Rava says that he has collected the following Wayto tradition: On the banks of the Tana lived Esau and his four brothers, who, according to Rava have in the Wayto legend the names of the founders of the four Moslem sects (Has Rava meant to signify by the word "sects," the rites (madahib)?  Esau killed a hippopotamus and began to eat it. However, he was discovered by his brothers who cursed him. His sons are the Wayto. But in Igaso, the same author collected another legend according to which the Wayto were banished from Egypt by the Pharaohs, and when a small group of them arrived at their present localities, they were subjected by the natives and obliged to eat the hippopotamus.

Many European ethnologists have tried to decide the question of the ethnic origins of these hunters; but all of them up to the present have based their general conclusions simply on the rather uncertain evidence of one particular group.  The following statements concerning the Watta have been made by travelers and ethnologists. P. Leon des Avancher said: "I think that this race (Watta) is the primitive race fo the country."  Before him, Ruppel had remarked that the Wayto are not allied to, but very different from the Qemant, confirming what Bruce had first written. This mistake was occasioned by the frequent confusion between the different low castes, all equally contemned by the noble Abyssinians.  Isenberg, while he erroneously called the Watta of the central group "a class or tribe of Galla," later wrote, "As they are fond of the hippopotamus, Mr. Krapf who gives this information thinks there may be a relation between them and the Wayto (i.e. the northern group of hutners)." On the contrary, Bottego connected the southern group with the pariahs and freed slaves of Somaliland and specially with the Gubahin and the Addon living in Benadir. 190

The first ethnologist, who has discussed the entire quesiton of the origins of the low castes is Biasutti. 191 He connects the hunters (Watta, Wayto, etc.) living in the Ethiopic plateau with the hunters (Midgan) of Somaliland, the hutners (Andorobo) of the Masai country,a dn with certain independent groups of hunters, e.g. the Dume northwest of Lake Stephanie, adn the Wapare living in the declivities of the Kilimanjaro. Concerning the Watta, he draws his conclusions only from the southern gruop.  He concludes: "In the interior of East Africa, as in other countries of the African continent, the occupation of hunting became in a few places fit only for the more or less pure remains of the primitive races, the Negrillos and Bushmen. On these peoples were imposed expansions of the Ethiopic peoples coming from the north, and the negros people advancing by way of the interior marshes, meeting each other as two waves. But it appears that some very old Ethiopic groups such as the Paleo-Egyptians have kept, more than any others, and perhaps even more than the negroes, traces of the absorption of the primitive populations.  Moreover, the remaining hunter tribes afterwards accepted a large quantity of Hamitic and negro pariahs, thus forming different grades of mixture and ethnic groups with different composition." 192

Montandon, 193 however, denies that there were ever Bushmen in Ethiopia. According to him, the Ethiopic plateau "a l'origine des temp connus" was already occupied by the negro race; and even at that time, perhaps some emigrations of peoples had begun to be directed towards Abyssinia.  He adds in a note: 194 "Certain authors seem to recognize the descendants of the primitive inhabitants in those pariahs living solely by the chase, whom the Abyssinians call Wayto."  But although he says in this part of his article, "it would be interesting to know whether this race scattered over nearly the whole of Ethiopia, (a statement which is very incorrect) speaks one and the same language," 195 in another place, he classifies the language of the Wayto among the Kushitic languages, 196 and remarks that it is spoken"by individuals scattered along the banks of Lake Tana," therefore, only in the northern group.  It would appear that he was undecided whether to ascribe the hunters to the negroes or to the Proto-Kushites.

Giuffrida-Ruggeri, on the contrary, definitely assigns them to the group which he calls "Proto-Ethiopians." 197  He demonstates this hypothesis by means of two arguments, one linguistic, the other cultural. The linguistic argument is that the Watta, Wayto, etc. speak an Agau dialect; the cultural that they live in portable tents with conical roofs, a kind of hut peculiar to the Ethiopians. However, it is not true that the Watta speak an Agau dialect. Giuffrida-Ruggeri has gathered this information from de Castro, 198 a source not worthy of consideration.  De Castro has here repeated the mistake of the predecessors of Bruce, confusing Wayto and Qemant; even worse, he has confounded the Qemant and the Agau linguistically.  This confusion of de Castro is not strange; he connects the language of the Wayto with that of the Vavassa (possibly a Bantu people), and in another place writes that into Ethiopia "came the Pre-semites or Kushites, among whom were the Agau, the Kanuri, the Bobo, etc.," thus transplanting into East Africa the Kanuri of West Africa!  Moeover, he adds that after these people, "the Hyxos came into Ethiopia." When one founds his opinion on many different sources, it is necessary to distinguish between the original sources, and the secondary sources or compilations.

The second argument of Giufrida-Ruggieri has been taken from Heuglin who accuratley describes the Wayto of the northern group as living "in ambulanten backofenformigen Schilfhutten." But this must not be considered as a general cultural character of these groups of hunters, because as I have already said, the habitations of the Watta range in different districts from cane huts to hiding places in trees.  It is not worth while to consider in detail the opinion of Rava that the Wayto (he speaks only of the northern  group) were originally Moslem Amara, as so many others (sic!) and that when they moved to the banks of the Tana, far from their churches and religious centers, their faith degenerated and therefore they were abjured by their brethren.  How does this explain the origin of the Watta living on the banks of the Glana Sagan where is Islam has penetrated only during hte last few years and is perhaps known only by name? It is not ture that the Wayto of the Tana are Moslem, and beside, they do not live far from religious centers, since the Islam-biet of Gondar was at least until a few years ago, a little center of Islamic culture. 199

I think then that first of all, we may safely accept the fundamental thesis of Biassutti that hunting, the occupation of the Watta, signifies here a cultural stage characateristic of primitive peoples. Therefore, it appears to me that among the Watta may be found many elements of the hunting races, that is, the peoples inhabiting the Ethiopic plateau before the Kushites. When the Kushites penetrated Ethiopia, they had already passed from the hunting to the pastoral stage; even the most primitive of the Kushites, if we so designate the Baria and the Kunama, were never hunters, according to what we can deduce from their present ethnographic character.

What non-Kushitic races, then, are repesented today by the Watta? The evidence of the Bushmen in Ethiopia seems to be very vague. And even if there are found in the most southern regions of the plateau a few groups who seem possibly allied with the Bushmen, what arguments are there to support hte hypothesis that they are the last remnant of a race driven out of Ethiopia toward South Africa, rather than the opposite hypothesis that they are the most remote groups of the races of South Africa who advanced in the earliest times towards the north and were stopped in the declivities of the plateau by obstacles natural or human met in this region?

Little more certain are the traces of Negrillo (pygmy) groups. The low stature of which Cecci writes concerning the Watta in Giera is corroborated by the following sources: for the Midgan of Somaliland, Luigi Robecchi Bricchetti, Somalia e Benadir, Milano, 1899, p. 216; for the Walangulo, Wakefield in Paulitizsche, Ethnographie Nordost Afrikas, op. cit., p. 32; for the Dume, Donaldson Smith, Through unknown African countries, London, 1897, p. 272; for the Wapare, Paul Reinecke, 'Bescreibung einiger Rassenskelette aus Afrika,' (Archiv f. Antrop., Braunschweig, 1898, p. 185-231).

The chief evidences of negro origin are clear: "large and protruding lips" noted in the central and southern groups, "flat noses" in the southern group, "darker color" in the central and southern groups; also, the custom of hanging a weight in the lobule of the ear indicates a relationship to Hamitic groups with negroid admixture. Therefore, it is clear tha the formation of the Watta is not the same in all three groups, and that this formation rose from historical causes, from different environments, and from the different people with whom each of the three groups came in close contact. Traces of the negro and Negrillo are more evident in the southern than in the central group and almost no evidence of them can be found at present in the northern group. I agree with Biasutti that Kushitic pariahs were assimilated by these primitive groups. Naturally these Kushitic pariahs, representing a stage of culture inferior to that of the Kushites, were confused with the native races of Ethiopia after the Kushitic invasion, since these primitive peoples also represented a culture, i.e. hunting, inferior to that of the pastoral Kushites. It also seems probable to me that those who are considered descendants of pygmies are in fact descendants of pariahs of the negroes. In the history of Ethiopia, so rich in ethnic struggles, these groups of negroid pariahs assimilated after the Kushitic conquest, with their patrons, the negroes, and with the pariahs of the Kushites, although geographically dispersed in the aforesaid three groups, still maintained for many centuries a uniformity of material culture which was caused not by an absolute identity of ethnic origins, but by an analogy of historical formation.

Here I may note that the Watta were connected by de Castro and later by Giufrida-Ruggieri 200 with the race whom the ancient Egyptians called Uauat. (Earlier still, Hartmann 201 had seen in theAgau the modern representatives of Uauat.) This Uauat-Watta hypothesis cannot be proved linguistically, especially since the final -t does not seem to be radical. The name also appears in the form Uaua, e.g. in the inscriptions quoted by Schiaparelli, 202 and in the form Uaua-it. 203 Nor does the conclusion of Schioaparelli who has recently examined the hierogrphic sources agree with the above hypothesis. According to Schiaparelli, Uauat is the country bertween the southern frontier of Egypt and Taka in the valley of the Atabara, much farther north than the probable sites of the Watta in a historical period such as that of the Egyptian inscariptions.

It is also noteworthy that the southern Galla in British East Africa call the Wassanye and the Wabone Wat. (Southern Galla wat = northern Galla watta because of the phonetic rule of the southern Galla dialect that a, if it is a final vowel, is dropped.)  Both the Wasanye and the Wabone are hunters. In Italian Somaliland, the Waboni in the popular traditions of the Somali who surround them are said "to eat every unclear thing, even crocodiles and serpents." 204 The most southern Galla branches who encounter the groups of hunters on the banks of the Yuba call them Wat, as the northern branches call the hutners of the plateau Watta.  Moreeover, the Wasanye are said to be sorcerers and each of their clans seems to live under the patronage of a Galla clan whose name they accept as their own. 205

In conclusion, I ask the reader to turn his attention to a group of hunters of the Ethiopic plateau which, up to the present, has not been noted by ethnologists. I allude to the Fuga, a small group discovered by the Italian traveller Bianchi, 206 between the Gurage and the Soddo Galla, about an hour's march southeast of Gorieno before reachign the river Ruffay. Bianchi calls them Galla, but aftewards writesw: "They appear to be the most savage of the Galla in the countries through which I have passed." The ethnographic characters of the Fuga are those which especially mark the hunters of the central group. They are "darker in color than the Guragie and the inhabitants of Qabiena; they wear no clothes until adolescence after which they cover themselves with a short petticoat of cowskin." Bianchi remarks that the true Galla use this petticoat only in war; it is, however, used also by the poorer classes and especially by countrymen. The arms of the Fuga include arrows and a bow made of "an elastic rod of acacia, which is kept bent by a cord of musa ensete." 207 In addition to warefare, this bow is also used in dancing since the Faga accompany the dance by throwing blunt arrows, thus honoring their guests.

The Fuga, says Bianchi, are tributaries of the Guragie; it is probable that this means that they are clients of the Guragie. The native informant of Bianchi told him that the Guragie had converted the Fuga to Christianity.

83 Carlo Conti Rossini, 'Studii su alcune popolazioni dell' Etiopia,' (Rivista degli studii Orientali, 6th year, pt. 2, p. 416).
84 Friedrich J. Bieber, 'Das Land Kaffa und seine Bewohner,' (Revue des Etudes Ethnographiques et Sociologiques, Paris, 1909, p. 225-249).
85 Antoine d'Abbadie, Geographie d'Ethiopie Paris, 1890
86 Op. cit., vol. 2, p. 541.
87 Mittelungen des Seminars fur Orientalis Sprachen, vol. 10, pt. 2, p. 15-18.
88 Cecchi, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 239.
89. Ibid. p. 21.
90. Op. cit., p. 114.
91 Op. cit., p. 541-542.
92 Op. cit. p. 266.
93 In the same way Cecchi, (ibid.) speaks of the daughter of Raja, who "married Maccia Raco Calle." Now the name of the husband is doubtless Macca, the ancestor of the tribes of similar name, and Maccia Raco Calle is not a name, but signifies "Macca married," literally, "Macca made the sacrifice" of the rako (see song 118).
94 Cf. Song 17, n.
95 Storia dei Mecca, Op. cit., p. 181, l. 17.
96 Op. cit., p. 21.
97 Op. cit., vol. 2, p. 417.
98 Ibid., p. 542.
99 Borelli, Ethiopie meridionale, op. cit. p. 150.
100 Cf. Reinisch, Die Kaffa Saprache, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 21.
101 Cf. Cerulli, 'L'islam nei regni galla independenti,' op. cit., p. 117.
102 The translation and notes of this text have already been published. Cf. E. Cerulli, 'La seconde spedizioine Bottego,' (L'Africa Italiana, Napls, 1917, vol. 36, p. 25-28).
103 Vannutelli and Citerni, L'Omo, op. cit., p. 413.
104 Loransiyuos does not say whether after the fourth degree of initiation, and therefore afater the retirement from office of the Abba Bakka of a gada group, there are further degrees of initiaion for hte elders. I believe that after the luba, there is a higher degree, that of gilla.
105 Ibid., p. 415.
106 80 + 8 + 4 = 92.
107 See text 4, note 19, and text 5, note 43.
108 See text 5, note 34.
109 Leo Reinisch, Die Afar Sprache, Wien, 1887, vol. 2, p. 42-72.
110 Da Zeila alle frontiee del Caffa, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 527.
111 Ibd., vol. 2, p. 284.
112 Cf. Guidi, 'Strofe e brevi testi amarici,' op. cit., p. 11-14.
113 d'Abbadie, 'Sur ls Oromo,' op. cit. p. 176.
114 Cf. E. Cerulli, 'Canti popolari amarici,' op. cit., p. 583-584.
115 Cf. Jules Borelli, Ethiopie meridionale, p. cit.
116 Cf. Beguinot, La cronica abbreviata d'Abissinia, op. cit., p. 11. To the bibliography there given: -- d'Abbadie, 'L'Abyssinie et le roi Theodore,' (Le Correspondant, Paris, 1868); Clements R. Markham, A history of the Abyssinian expedition, London, 1869; Noldeke, 'Theodoros, Konig von Abessinien,' (Deutsche Rundschau, vol. 10, 1884) -- may be added Cecchi, Da Zeila, etc., op. cit., vol. 1, p. 503-505.
117 Op. cit., vol. 1, p. 503.
118 Vittoris Bottego, Il Giuba esplorato, Roma, 1895, -. 328, 336.
119 Vannutelli e Citerni, L'Omo, op. cit., p. 344, and the general map.
120 G. Colli di Gelliggano, 'Nei paesi Galla,' (Boll. Soc. Geog. Ital. Roma, 1095, vol. 42, p. 111).
121 d'Abbadie, Geographie d'Ethoipie, op. cit., p. 199
122 Conti-Rossini, "I mekan o Suro,' (Rend. d. R. Accad. d. Lincei, Roma, 1914, vol. 22, p5. 7-8, p. 411).
123 George Montandon, 'Au pays Ghimirra,' (Bull. Soc. Neutcateloise de Geog., Neuchatel, 1912, vol. 22, p. 65).
124 Krapf, Travels, researches, etc., p. cit.
125 Voyages en Ethiopie, op. cit. p. 255.
126 I miei tentacinque anni di missione nell'alta Etipia, op. cit. vol. , 56, 59.
127 Op. cit., p. 255.
128 Da Zeila alle frontiere del caffa, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 366.
129 Federico G. Bieber, 'Nel Caffa,' (Boll. Soc. Afr. d'Italia, Napoli, 1906, vol. 25, pt. 9-10, p. 202).
130 'Reise durch Aethiopien und den Sudan,' (Mitt. K.K. Georgr. Gesellschaft, Wien, 1910, vol. 53, p. 344).
131 Die Kafa sprache, op. cit., vol. 1, p. 16.
132 Geographie d'Ethopie, op. cit., p. 266.
133 Ibid., p. 269
134 Karl Wilhelm Isenberg, Dictionary of the Amharic language, London, 1841.
135 Vide supra, p. 14.
136 Maurizio Rava, Al lago Tsana, Roma, 1913, p. 79.
137 Ibid., p. 154.
138 Voyage en Nubie et Abyssinie, op. cit., vol. 3, p. 455.
139 Reise nach Abyssinien, Frankfurt, 1840, vol. 2, p. 205.
140 Op. cit., vol. 3, p. 8-10.
141 Theodor von Heuglin, Reise nach Abyssinien, Jena, 1868, p. 289-291.
142 Voyage en Abyssinie, Paris, 1847, vol. 2, p. 256-257.
143 Op. cit., Wayto.
144 Felix Rosen, Eine deutsche Gesandtschaft in Abyssinien, Leipzig, 1907, p. 380-381, 391.
145 Op. cit., p. 79, 81, 123, 156-157.
146 'Proben aus amarischen Volksmunde,' (Mitt. d. Sem. f. Orient. Sprachen zu Berlin, p. 10, p5. 2, p. 214-215).
147 Op. cit.
148 Cf. Guidi, Vocabolario amarico, op. cit., wattatta.
149 Op. cit.
150 'Nel caffa,' op. cit., p. 214.
151 Montandon, op. cit., p. 65, writes, "the Galla name of hte Watta is Mango," an evident mistake.
152 Oop. cit., vol. 2, p. 368.
153 Raga in Amharic means "a weaver who is not born of a weaver's family but is the first of his family to learn weaving." Among hte Amara, weaving is another ignoble tade. Cf. Guidi, Vocabolario amarico, op. cit., p. 14.
154 Vide infra, p. 213-214.
155 Il Giuba esplorato, op. cit.
156 Bottego, op. cit., p. 336.
157 Op. cit., vol. 2, p. 368.
158 d'Abbadie, op. cit.
159 Ibid.
160 Op. cit. vol. 5.1.
161 Montandon, op. cit., p. 174.
162 Cf. John Bland-Sutton, Man and beast in eastern Ethoipia, London, 1911, p. 118-127.
163 Op. cit.
164 Op. cit., vol. 2, p. 368
165 However, the language of the Zingaro, i.e. the Yangaro or Yamma language is known, although only slightly. It is the principal language of the Sidama group called by Conti Rossini "the Sidama of the Upper Gibie." (Studii su popolazioni dell' Ethiopia, op. cit., p. 411).
166 Op. cit., vol. 2.
167 Op. cit., vol. 2.
168 Cf. E. Cerulli, review of P. Giovanni da Palermo, 'Dizionario della Somala,' (Revista degli studii orientali, vol. 3, pt. 3, p. 794), and E. Cerulli, 'L'origine delle basse caste della Somalia,' (L'esplorazione commerciale, Oct. 1917).
169 Op. cit., vol. 5.
170 'Proben aus amarischen Volksmunde,' op. cit.
171 Cf. A. Werner, 'The Utendi of Mwana Kupona,' (Harv. Afr. Stud., Cambridge, 1917, vol. 1, p. 147-181). Evidently yaumu li-arafa is not "the day of judgment" but hte aforesaid holiday. The importance of the Arafah in the life of the East African Mussulman has been pointed out to me by a Moslem Amara, a native of Wallo who called hte feast of the Cross, the greatest feast of the Abyssinian Christians, "Ya-Kristyan Arafa, the Arafah of the Christians."
172 Al logo Tsana, op. cit.
173 Op. cit. vol. 2, p. 368.
174 Also worn by the Amara countrymen who call it strara. (Cf. Guidi, Voabolario amarico, op. cit.) The Galla call it dakku. See song 71.
175 Op. cit., p. 368.
176 Ibid., p. 369.
177 Bible, Old Testament, Job, ch. 41.
178 There are only a few groups, perhaps mixed with Wayto elements, who boast of killing hte hippopotamus, e.g., the child whom Rava met near the Tana (op. cit., p. 84), and the poet of an Amharic song collected by me, who after enumeratin ghte noble hunting enterprises (lioin, elephant), closes: "And are the spoils of the hippopotamus fit only for Wayto? When it (the hippopotamus) appears breathing, does it not frighten?"
179 Vocabolario della lingua Oromonica, (Cecchi, op. cit., vol. 3, p. 263).
180 Bruce, op. cit., p. 455.
181 Cf. Guidi, Vocabolario amarico-italiano, Wayto.
182 'Nel Caffa,' op. cit., p. 214.
183 'Reise durch Athiopien und den Sudan,' op. cit., p. 344. Here Biewber says that the Watta were "bis ins 14. Jahrhundert staatlich geeint," but do not know the source of this information.
184 As to the Watta of the southern group, we know that they live under the patronage of the Borana tries and that marriage between the Watta and the Borana is forbidden. Cf. Colli de Feliggano, 'Nei paesi Galla a Sud dello scioa,' op. cit., p. 111-112.
185 Therefore Massaja is mistaken in saying that the Watta live in the lowest slavery, op. cit., vol. 6, p. 60.
186 Op. cit., p. 257.
187 Nella terra dei negus, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 384.
188 Op. cit., vol. 7, p. 9.
189 Ibid., vol. 6, p. 56.
190 Bieber also says: "They (the Watta) are the remnants of the primitive population of Abyssinia," 'Reie nach Abyssien,' op. cit.
191 Renato Biasutti, 'Pastori, agricoltori e cacciatori nell' Africa orientale,' (Bol. Soc. Geogr. Italiana, Roma, 1905, s. 4 vol. 6., p. 175).
192 Ibid.
193 Montandon, Op. cit. p. 65.
194 Ibid.
195 Montandon, op. cit., p. 65
196 Ibid., p. 202.
197 V. Giuffrida-Ruggeri, 'Nuovi studi sull'antropologia dell' Africa orientale,' (Archiv. l'Antrop. e Ethnol., Firenze, 1915, vol. 45, p. 142-144).
198 De Castro (op. cit., p. 384) says that "they (the Watta) spring from Mingio, a man of the Busciascio, the first tribe to occupy this country." Here he confounds the Mango, i.e. the low caste of hunters with the Mingo of the dynasty Bucasie (called in some Kaffa dialects Busaso), now the ruling branch of that dynasty in Kaffa.
199 This is illustrated by the following anecdote which I learned from a native. When the emperor Johannes IV, before Matamma, returned to Gondar which ahd been plundered inthe preceding year by the Dervishes of the Mahdi, he ordered thathte Mussulmen living in Gondar be killd and their property confiscated, suspecting that they ahd been allies of the enemy. It is said that in the Moslem quarter, an Arabic minstrel sang at this time:

ya Aduwah adu Allah
Gondar bildad Allah!

That is: "O Adua, enemy of God! Gondar is the town of God!" punning on the two words of similar sound, Aduwah, the town of Tigre (Johannes IV was born in Tigre) and adu, meaning "enemy" in Arabic.
200 Op. cit., p. 141.
201 Robert Hartmann, Die nigritier, Berlin, 1876, p. 371.
202 'La geografia dell'Africa orientale,' (Rend. d. Lincei, s. 4, vol. 19, pt. 7-10, p. 58, 528).
203 Ibid, p. 512.
204 T. Carletti, I problemi del Benadir, Viterbo, 1912, p. 55.
205 Cf. Werner, 'The Galla of the East Africa Protectoate,' op. cit. p. 137-138, 278, and "A few notes on the Wasanye," (Man, vol. 13, p. 199-201). I have only pointed out here the identity fo the name Watta for the southern and northern hunters of the Galla; I hav not included here the hunting groups of Bitish East Africa.
206 Gustavo Bianchi, Alla terra dei Galla, Milano, 1884, p. 303, 313.
207 Cf. E. Cerulli, 'L'origine delle basse caste della Somalia,' (L'Esplorazioine Commerciale, October, 1916), for the use of the bow by the Midgan, hunters of Somaliland, and also, Franz Stuhlmann, Handwerk und Industrie in Ostfika, Hamburg, 1910.

First half of this book

seltzer@seltzerbooks.com privacy statement