Yejju Oromo tribe

Yejju Oromo belong to the Barentu branch of Oromo people. They are one of the northernmost communities of the Oromo, who are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia.

The Barentu (also Barento/Barentuma) is one of the two moieties of the Oromo people, the other being the Borana. Yejju Oromo is often categorized inside the Barentu branch and other neighboring communities include the Wollo Oromo and the Raya Oromo. Due to Oromo migration to the north, and the marginalization of these peoples beginning at the turn of the 20th century, these northern Oromo communities are minorities and are presently found in the ethnic Amhara and Tigray dominated regions of northern Ethiopia.

During the 17th century, the Yejju dynasty (more specifically, the Warasek) ruled much of the Ethiopian empire during the Zemene Mesafint or "Age of Princes", changing the official language of Amhara people to Afaan Oromo, including inside the court of Gondar.[1] Throughout the era, different ethnic groups, clans and communities made short-term alliances to acquire economic advantage and political power.

As early as 1890, under the reign of Menelik II, the homeland of the Yejju was organized into an Ethiopian province named for them. It was bordered by the Alewuha River to the north, separating it from Rayya Qobbo district, the Mille River to the south, separating it from Wollo Province, the Afar Depression to the east, and the highlands of Amba Sel to the west. Woldiya served as its capital city. Currently, the territories of these northern tip Oromos are officially located inside Amhara Region, specifically divided between the districts of Habru and Woldiya town, with smaller portions administratively part of Guba Lafto and Amba Sel.[2] Consequently, these boundaries have been rejected by various Oromo nationalist groups, including the Oromo Liberation Front.[3]


  1. Pankhurst, Richard, The Ethiopian Royal Chronicles, (London:Oxford University Press, 1967), pp. 139–43.
  2. Ethiopia Administrative Map as of 2013
  3. OLF map of Oromia
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