Barentu Oromo people

Barentoo Oromo
Regions with significant populations
Islam, Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, Protestantism
Related ethnic groups
Oromo, Borana and other Cushitic peoples.

Barentu people, also called Barentoo or Baraytuma, are one of the two main groups of the Oromo people in Oromia.[1][2] They historically expanded towards east, southeast and northeast Ethiopia, while the other moiety named Borana Oromo people expanded west, northwest and southwards.[3]


Between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries, the Oromo people had differentiated into two major confederation of pastoral tribes: the Borana and the Barentu, and several minor ones. The Barentu people thereafter expanded to the eastern regions now called Hararghe, Arsi, Wello and northeastern Shawa. The Borana people, empowered by their Gadda political and military organization expanded in the other directions, regions now called western Shawa, Welega, Illubabor, Kaffa, Gamu Goffa, Sidamo and in the 16th-century into what is now northern Kenya regions.[3] The Borana and Barentu groups are sometimes referred to as two early era moieties of the Oromo people.[4]


Barentu Oromo are found in eastern provinces of Ethiopia, and are mostly Muslims.

The Barentu Oromo people in Arsi, Bale and Hararghe regions abandoned their traditional religions and the Gadda system of governance in the 19th century, when they were converted to Islam.[5] In eastern regions close to Somalia, about 98.5% of the Barentu people now follow Islam. They are geographically closest to the Afar people from the Afar Region, who were the two first ethnic groups to accept Islam in Africa.

Some people away from Somalia border, in the Arsi Zone and the Bale Zone follow the traditional Oromo religion which is called Aadha, whose god is Waaq. People who follow Waaqa are often from the Borana Oromo people.

Sub groups

The Barento/Barentuma consist of the following sections or subgroups, which in turn include many subdivisions:


  1. Asafa Jalata (2004). State Crises, Globalisation, and National Movements in North-east Africa. Routledge. pp. 105–107. ISBN 978-0-415-34810-2.
  2. Mohammed Hassen (2015). The Oromo and the Christian Kingdom of Ethiopia: 1300-1700. Boydell & Brewer. p. 109. ISBN 978-1-84701-117-6.
  3. 1 2 Asafa Jalata (2010), Oromo Peoplehood: Historical and Cultural Overview, Sociology, University of Tennessee Press, pages 5, 11-12
  4. Abbas Gnamo (2014). Conquest and Resistance in the Ethiopian Empire, 1880 -1974: The Case of the Arsi Oromo. BRILL Academic. pp. 77–79. ISBN 978-90-04-26548-6.
  5. Asafa Jalata (2004). State Crises, Globalisation, and National Movements in North-east Africa. Routledge. pp. 112–113. ISBN 978-0-415-34810-2.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/19/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.