Kambaata is the name of the people who speak the Kambaata language. It was a province of Ethiopia beginning in the early 15th century and ending in the mid-17th century before Ethiopian rule was once again established under Emperor Menelik II. During this first period, Kambaata province was largely Christianized. The former province is contained within the contemporary Kembata Tembaro Zone of Ethiopia's SNNPR.
According to the 2007 Ethiopian national census, this ethnic group has 630,236 members, of whom 90.89% live in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region. Almost one in five -- 18.5% -- live in urban areas.
Kambata tribe is one of the oldest tribes in Southern Ethiopia. They have many indigenous traditional foods, such as enset, and many kinds of tubers, spices and vegetables; some of these are not familiar in other parts of Ethiopia. An important landmark to the Kambaata people is Mount Ambarcho, where they sacrificed and celebrated in the past. The king and the god of Kambata lived there.
King Dagoye was one of the rulers of the Kambata. He was from Oyata clan. His rules were very unbearable for the people who lived at that time. He put the rules which favours Oyata. Any Oyata clan had guarantee of getting new house and fertile land. The Contomas were those who were not from the clan of Oyata. They suffered a lot and used to give what they had including their houses and wives too. If an Oyata young person wants to marry he had to marry Oyata lady. There was much more connection with the rule of Dagoye with the Oromo. Dagoye instituted the Gadaa system which has differences from the Gadaa system practiced by the Oromo.
- Ulrich Braukämper, "Aspects of Religious Syncretism in Southern Ethiopia", in Journal of Religion in Africa, 1992, p.197.
- 2007 Ethiopian census, first draft, Ethiopian Central Statistical Agency (accessed 6 May 2009)
- Arsano, Yacob, "A traditional Institution of Kambata" (2002). In: Bahru Zewde and Siegfried Pausewang(eds.), Ethiopia. The Challenge of Democracy from below. Uppsala
- Braukämper, Ulrich. 1983. Die Kambata: Geschichte und Gesellschaft eines süd-äthiopischen Bauernvolkes. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner.
- Gebrewold-Tochalo, Belachew (2002), The Impact of the Socio-Cultural Structures of the Kambata/Ethiopia on their Economic Development. Vienna.
- Gebrewold, Belachew, "An introduction to the political and social philosophy of the Kambata" (Kambata Development Network website)
- Daniel Yoseph Baiso, Occupational Minorities in Kambata Ethnic Group, Nairobi, 2007
- Ashenafi Yonas Abebe, "Resignificacion de algunos valores culturales del pueblo Kambata-Etiope esde el mensaje evangélico", Bogota, 2008.