Traditional terms (developed in Europe) for identifying broad human groupings, like Caucasian, Negroid and Mongoloid, are too general and inadequate to account for the variety we find among humans. 2.1 Latin America and the Caribbean; 2.2 Northern America; 3 Ethnic groups in Asia. Grain dishes, dairy products, and meat are the staples of the diet. The Horn of Africa itself is of significant interest to many countries that consider themselves a geopolitical entity, since its geographical location allows it to control the connection between the Red Sea (and therefore the Suez Canal) and the Indian Ocean, where a large flow of ships passes. Berber. A mechanism must be found to legitimize ethnic identity in the Horn of Africa without making it incompatible with the formation of a larger unit of identity based on mutuality and beneficial collaboration. [5], As a first overview, the following table lists major groups by ethno-linguistic affiliation, with rough population estimates (as of 2016) :[citation needed], The following is a table of major ethnic groups (10 million people or more): I have visited Ethiopia on several occasions also, as well as Eritrea, and have studied extensively the backgrounds of the Amhara and Tigrinya and related peoples. Additionally, military and even commercial alliances are often sealed by intermarriage, a common cultural feature all over the world. They seem to be generally a lighter color, with skin tones that may be perceived as brown. Now when we come to the Horn of Africa, there are basically three groupings of peoples involved in the ethnic mix of Ethiopians and Somalis: The Horn of Africa faces myriad crises. This has enabled specialists to establish a clear geographical chain of origin, descent and migration for human populations worldwide. This appears to be due to intermarrying since the contact with Islam. Firstly, conflict in the Horn of Africa at large is mapped out. But the edges of the categories are rough. The Sabeans and Other Ancient Genetics and Tongues:  Distinguishing Fact from Legend and Modern from Ancient The Rough Edges of Ethnicity The cuisine of the country reflects influences from the Somali, Yemeni, French, Afar, and even Indian cuisines. Meanwhile Nilotic peoples from the North have migrated south to mix with Cushite and Bantu peoples. Located in Africa’s horn on its east coast, the landlocked nation of Ethiopia is the second most populous nation in Africa. There seems to be no generally accepted explanation among scholars. Traditionally farther west around the White Nile and up into Egyptian territory we find the Nubian peoples, whose speech is classified as Sudanic. Oromo has a population of roughly 35 million people. The country comprises more than 80 ethnic groups, of which Abiy’s Oromo is the largest, followed by the Amhara. Beja Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic Beja Horn of Africa Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt 2 Gurage Afro-Asiatic, Semitic Gurage Horn of Africa Ethiopia 1.9 Oromo Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic Oromo Horn of Africa Ethiopia, Kenya 30 Saho Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic Saho Horn of Africa Eritrea, Ethiopia 0.2 Sidama Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic Sidamo Horn of Africa Ethiopia 3 There are black peoples in Southern India and the Indian Ocean Islands with so-called "Caucasian" features. Let's take a look at a few of the larger ethnic groups in Africa, focusing on those distinguished by region, cultural practices, and history. There is no simple relationship of physical features (physiognomy) or genetic structure to any clear groupings of peoples. The Swahili Peoples Firstly, conflict in the Horn of Africa at large is mapped out. The Oromo population is around 30 million individuals, the majority of whom (25.448 million) live in Ethiopia. Population: estimated between 5 and 9 million ; Afar, Ophir and the Mists of History The oldest genetic stream of humanity is found among the "Bushmen" of Southern and Central Africa, more properly known as the San (or Khoi-San) people. Nilotes. The Gurage language group of Ethiopia also shares affinities with Amharic and Tigrinya, though the Gurage peoples are not of a uniform phenotype. Related to this migration are the "Somali Bantu," Gosha, Mushungulu and related groups in the inland Horn, as well as the Barawa (Brava) of the Somali coast and related Swahili groups on the coast of East Africa from Kenya to Mozambique. Incidentally, the Swahili groups tend to be lighter skinned due to their origin from the intermarrying of Arab men with African (Bantu) women along the east coast of Africa. As for the "Ethiopians," you are probably referring to the Amhara, Tigrinya (mostly Eritrea) and Tigray peoples associated with the ancient kingdoms of Axum and Abyssinia. The country’s largest ethnic group are the Oromo, who account for up to 40 per cent of the population. Among the broad human "races," there exists a continuum of physical features and skin color. ... the reader on an author ethnic affiliation conveniently on the very subject he wrote in splitting a region in four more ethnic groups. Tigray-Tigrinya ... was seen as the strategic linchpin of the volatile Horn of Africa. The Horn of Africa region is characterized by poor governance and stalling democratic practices, where authoritarian regimes and one-party systems dominate the political […] The Horn of Africa is one of the most complex and conflicted regions of the world. It can also be said to be an incompatibility, as of two things that cannot be simultaneously fulfilled. There are no clear-cut categories by either skin color, hair or eye color, head shape or size, height, body size, leg length or other feature. The ethnolinguistic groups include various Afroasiatic, Khoisan, Niger-Congo and Nilo-Saharan populations. Tigray-Tigrinya CONFLICTS AND CAUSES OF CONFLICTS IN AFRICA. Common Genetic Stream (For instance, the ancient Chaldeans, in the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates River in the Persian Gulf, who later took over the Babylonian Empire from the Assyrians, are thought to have been Cushitic.). Their descendants are primarily identified in the Coptic Egyptians (mostly Christian) who now speak Arabic. The vast majority of people here share an Afro-Asiatic ethnicity.The largest ethnic group in the Horn of Africa is the Oromo. Skin colour is not directly tied to any certain facial features. The Oromo: What Factors Make a People Group Distinct? These Semitic-speaking peoples migrating into the Horn of Africa apparently intermarried with the various Cushites groups already living in the area and migrating in later. Their population is about 22 million. East Africa and the Horn comprise 11 states, 315m people, hundreds of ethnic groups, dozens of climatic zones, and various differentiated levels of human development, colonial history, modern political influences, and economic organization all covering nearly … Although the Horn of Africa consists of 4 independent countries, it shares similar ethnic heritages throughout the region. Tutsi, Hutu and Hima - Cultural Background in Rwanda, Colour, Race and Genetics in the Horn of Africa, Italians, Etruscans and Greeks:  Genetics and Ethnicity. Davison’s Ethiopia Insight also claims it is “an EU-registered website. Thus there are peoples who are black that do not fit into the classic group of physical features traditionally referred to as "Negroid." “Peter is a retired former Voice of America correspondent in Ethiopia and VOA Horn of Africa Service Chief in Washington DC”. Their language is in the same broad group as the Oromo and Somali families. But for one, Ethiopia is known for being the origin of Coffee, as well as the antique art used in Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity. Race and Skin Color Abiy on Tuesday vowed a “final and crucial” military offensive as he tries to hold together a nation of 110 million people with scores of ethnic groups, some of which might try to defy him as the Tigray leaders have. Copyright © 2006, 2010 Orville Boyd Jenkins The Horn of Africa region is characterized by poor governance and stalling democratic practices, where authoritarian regimes and one-party systems dominate the political […] CONFLICTS AND CAUSES OF CONFLICTS IN AFRICA. Migrations and Ethnic Overlays ... Abiy Ahmed, might galvanize different ethnic groups for secession. The Oromo and Somali are classified in the Eastern group. Tutsi, Hutu and Hima - Cultural Background in Rwanda The war has killed hundreds, sent 30,000 refugees into Sudan and called into question whether Africa's youngest leader can hold together Ethiopia's myriad fractious ethnic groups. A dilemma in the Horn of Africa The promise and peril of Ethiopia’s democratic revolution. This Semitic strain of genetics seems to account somewhat for their more "Caucasian" features. Conflict can be defined as a clash or disagreement often violent between opposing groups or individuals. For example, various ethnic, “national,” or linguistic groups from Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands, Latin America, and Indigenous America have long been combined together as racial minority groups (currently designated as African American, Asian, Latino and Native American or … Likewise in this group are those called Australian Aborigines ("Originals"). Conflict can be defined as a clash or disagreement often violent between opposing groups or individuals. Ethnic Somalis and Tigrayans represent about 6% each in … It is actually unclear why the Somali peoples look more Caucasian, even though they have dark skin like the Oromo Cushites or Bantu Africans. The primary way groups of ethnicities in the Horn of Africa seem to relate is by language, more than by physical type. These wars take an ethnic perspective even when the real cause could Examples of Dravidian peoples are groups in India speaking languages like Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. Tutsi, Hutu and Hima - Cultural Background in Rwanda. Since the mapping of the human genome in recent years, DNA samples from around the world have been compared. Arms trafficking via the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea has a long history. Swahili, an indigenous language, is the lingua franca, and English is used in the higher legal courts and in the universities for higher education. [1][2][3], A 2009 genetic clustering study, which genotyped 1327 polymorphic markers in various African populations, identified six ancestral clusters. The Beja are a group of basically Cushite peoples who have mixed in various ways with Semitic peoples, the Sabeans and Arabs, as well as with other types of Cushites. Ethiopia in Crisis: Will Secession or Civil War Erupt in the Horn of Africa? * Figures from the 2007 Ethiopia census report the following percentages:  2007 Ethiopia census;  Amhara 26.89% of the population, Tigray 6.07% of the population [Total 32.86%];  Oromo 34.49% of the population -- "List of ethnic groups in Ethiopia," Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_groups_in_Ethiopia (Some sources report the Oromo cluster as high as 40% of the population. ethnic groups’ interests and completion for scarce resources among the different groups brings about ethnic polarization. Rewritten 29 June 2010 These characteristics are simply part of their visual identity. In the Horn of Africa, for instance, they split Somalis into French Somaliland, British Somalia, Italian Somalia, Ethiopian Somalia, and the Somali region of northern Kenya. One of the ethnic groups in Africa is the Nilotes whose population is around 22 million. East Africa: How Ethiopia's Conflict Threatens the Horn of Africa MSF People are preparing for the long journey from the Hamadayet border crossing to the Um Rakuba camp site in Gadaref. Shuwa/Baggara, Chadian, Media related to Ethnic groups in Africa at Wikimedia Commons, It has been suggested that this section be, The total number of languages natively spoken in Africa is variously estimated (depending on the delineation of. These various genetic and geographic origins in various mixes account somewhat for the differences we currently observe in their features, as well as in their cultures. Indians at the southern tip of South America also have "robust" features, but have light-coloured skin. Peter Austin, One Thousand Languages (2008), p. 75, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Nigeria gives census result, avoids risky details", "The Genetic Structure and History of Africans and African Americans", "Tales of Human Migration, Admixture, and Selection in Africa", https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0520255607, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_ethnic_groups_of_Africa&oldid=988626811, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles needing additional references from May 2018, All articles needing additional references, Pages with Split section templates needing conversion of 2 to discuss, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2018, Articles needing the year an event occurred from May 2018, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 14 November 2020, at 08:54. Their influence, if not direct rule, would have included much of what has traditionally been understood as "Cush," usually thought to include Ethiopia and parts of Sudan. The Subtlety of Assimilation This is different only in degree from the general story of humanity all over the world. Answer: The question you ask actually involves some very complex factors. Horn of Africa, region of eastern Africa.It is the easternmost extension of African land and for the purposes of this article is defined as the region that is home to the countries of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, whose cultures have been linked throughout their long history. 1.1 African Great Lakes; 1.2 Central Africa; 1.3 Horn of Africa; 1.4 Indian Ocean islands; 1.5 North Africa; 1.6 Southern Africa; 1.7 Western Africa; 2 Ethnic groups in Americas. Only general groupings and greater tendencies in various groups. The fascinating thing is that the farther back into genetic history we have been able to go (through recent DNA comparative study) the more similar we find the human stream to be, back to a single genetic grouping in central or eastern Africa. View PDF. Artificial borders split many closely related ethnic groups into different colonial regions. The identity of ancient Sheba is uncertain, and is associated with the term Cush also. Scattered across several African countries, the Somali people are just one ethnic group out of the many that make up the cultural diversity of the Horn of Africa. All humans now living on Earth apparently share the same full gene pool. Ethnic Somalis and Tigrayans represent about 6% … It appears to me that the Egyptians were lighter skinned, like the Semitic Phoenicians, Hebrews, other Canaanites and the Arabs. Among the peoples of the Horn of Africa, like every other place in the world, various groups of humans have migrated in and out over the millennia, and intermarried in various ways. My articles about the Beja and Oromo peoples in the region also provides some historical information and discusses how different ethnicities intermarry and how new peoples emerge. 1. The official population count of the various ethnic groups in Africa is highly uncertain, both due to limited infrastructure to perform censuses and due to the rapid population growth. 1 Ethnic groups in Africa. (See The Rough Edges of Ethnicity.) ... a key U.S. security ally in the strategic Horn of Africa. Some Cushite peoples have migrated west towards the center of the Africa continent, like the Tutsi in the Lakes Area, according to some analyses. Centuries of systematic investigation and analysis of information about the world's peoples, informs us that there is no consistent relationship of skin color to "race." Horn of Africa: Ethiopia: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic: 3 5 (2016) Shona: East Africa: Zimbabwe and Mozambique: Niger–Congo, Bantoid: 15 (2000) Somali: Horn of Africa: Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya: Afro-Asiatic, Cushitic: 20 (2009) Yoruba: West Africa: Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone: Niger–Congo, Volta–Niger: 40 [year needed] Zulu: Southern Africa It is less clear why the Somali group have more European-like features, though they have darker skins. Tigre, Tigray, Tigrinya - Ethnicities, Languages and Politics The Beja are the only remaining Northern Cushite group there now. In conclusion, the short summary of all this is that various groups of peoples from different "racial" and linguistic origins have migrated in and out of the Horn of Africa, and have intermarried in various ways. The Oromo:  What Factors Make a People Group Distinct? Genetics Out of Africa The Oromo peoples are generally very dark, like the Somalis, but are shorter and have more "African" (Negroid) features, perhaps due to more intermarrying with Bantu or Nilotic groups. Finalized as an article and posted on Thoughts and Resources 27 January 2006 The Horn contains such diverse areas as the highlands of the Ethiopian Plateau, the Ogaden desert, and the Eritrean and Somalian coasts and is home to the Amhara, Tigray, Oromo, and Somali peoples, among others. Each of these broad groups also includes complex sub-groups that complicate the language and ethnic picture in North-Eastern Africa. Models of Assimilation Ethnicities in Northeastern Africa [Francis S. Collins, The Language of Life (NY: Harper, 2010) p 146]. The Oromo: What Factors Make a People Group Distinct? For more historical and cultural information, see my article about the Afar: Colour, Race and Genetics in the Horn of Africa Its people belong to at least 75 ethnic groups, speak some 80 different languages and converse in 200 dialects. This gives us the dynamic, rich, complex and sometimes volatile mix of ethnicities and the range of ethnicity and language that is difficult to relate directly to any clear racial category. Nubians: Who Are the Nubians? 1520-1660). Race Artificial borders split many closely related ethnic groups into different colonial regions. By Mohamed A. Mohamoud – Barawani The rivalry between international actors on the Horn of Africa region due to geostrategic interests can only fuel more interstate and intrastate conflicts in the foreseeable future. 1 Ethnic groups in Africa. The best way to group these various peoples is by language, since languages can be more objectively organized and the relationship between various languages has been well-established over the last two centuries. The physical differences associated with some of these gene changes over thousands of years are expressed as differences in appearance and body type between different human populations. The term Oromo refers to a large grouping of languages and peoples in the Horn of Africa and southward deep into Kenya. Dialects, Languages and Ethnicity Afar, Ophir and the Mists of History. Findings in Archaeology and Genetic studies continue to indicate Africa as the point of origin of the human race. However, recent genetic studies have shown that the human group with oldest sequence of genes is another African group of atypical appearance. The Amhara. This culturally diverse region is home to over 80 ethnic groups of … The geography-based designation "African" is generally used in popular speech to refer to the broad majority of black peoples of Africa who generally fit the popular traditional classification of physical features called Negroid. Sadly I do not know much other than the fact that I am African and of the black race. The Horn of Africa has a history of civil wars, which have triggered epic famines and utter devastation. Others are corruption, undermining and disseminating false information to the higher authority. Swahili, an indigenous language, is the lingua franca, and English is used in the higher legal courts and in the universities for higher education. There have also been accusations of deliberate misreporting in order to give selected ethnicities numerical superiority (as in the case of Nigeria's Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo people). Ancient Ethnic Migrations (ca. Some Somali clans claim descent from Arab tribes. The peoples of Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya, for instance, are Melanesian. 1. The broad shared human gene pool has been mixed and mingled richly in the Horn of Africa! 8. Berber. The Amhara Spiced mixed vegetable stew or spiced boiled beef soup are also enjoyed. Other rights reserved. Skin colour distinctions, like "white" and "black," are also very general and inexact (where is the border between very white and moderately white, or more white than the neighbour, etc) and are useful only for relative distinctions. In general this group/cluster of people is called Dravidian. Arabic and Hebrew are closely related to the Amharic and Tigrinya languages, in the same Semitic family. A mechanism must be found to legitimize ethnic identity in the Horn of Africa without making it incompatible with the formation of a larger unit of identity based on mutuality and beneficial collaboration. Igbo is an ethnic group found in West Africa with an estimated population of about 34 million people. Amhara ethnic group region of existence is the Horn of Africa and specifically Ethiopia. Peoples speaking Cushitic languages have varying shades of skin tone, from black to shades of brown. In recent weeks four ethnic groups have demanded plebiscites on self-rule. Join Alan Boswell and his guests who will be delving deep into these issues in Season 2 of The Horn podcast. Some other groups, like the Somalis and some peoples of Ethiopia, are noticeably different in appearance. Tigray, the northernmost region of Ethiopia, is home to the Tigrayan people who make up an estimated 6 percent of the country’s population of more than 110 million. Here is a basic principle that underlies such questions. Last edited 14 March 2015. 1.1 African Great Lakes; 1.2 Central Africa; 1.3 Horn of Africa; 1.4 Indian Ocean islands; 1.5 North Africa; 1.6 Southern Africa; 1.7 Western Africa; 2 Ethnic groups in Americas. It is possible they also contributed to the genetic mix of the Horn area. Visual Continuum Each of these broad groups also includes complex sub-groups that complicate the language and ethnic picture in North-Eastern Africa. But Tigray has openly resisted, and other regions and ethnic groups are uneasy with Mr. Abiy’s centralization push. It holds about 115 million people with an annual growth rate of 2.6 per cent. This group is referred to in various ancient texts, including the Old Testament and the Quran. The extent of external role players' involvement in this conflict is examined. ___________________ : Four Possible Trajectories for Ethiopia. There are more than one hundred ethnic groups in Tanzania. Other racial or genetic contributions to this stock are from the Cushite peoples. This is perhaps one source for the more "Caucasian" features we find among the Somali groups, even with their black skin. The Oromo:  What Factors Make a People Group Distinct? Each of the countries of the Horn—Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Sudan—suffers from protracted political strife, arising from local and national grievance, identity politics and regional inter-state rivalries. And the problem is not confined to conflict between different ethnic groups. Forgive me if at first some of these comments seem too detailed or far from your question. Well over 25,000 refugees have fled into Sudan, bringing word of vicious attacks by armed forces and even rival ethnic groups. These genetic studies include a comparative study of select peoples of all continents and physical types. Many people are also unaware how big and varied the African continent is! Findings since those early prescientific classifications help us appreciate and enjoy the rich variety we share in our human family. Appreciating Differences In other parts of the world this is the common reference point for awareness of people from Africa. These languages are Cushitic and are related distantly to the Somali/Maay group. Beyond the potentially devastating impact of COVID-19 on politics and the economy, the region is grappling with deeply troubled transitions, cross-border jihadism and remains a playground for great power competition. A related Cushite group is the Afar, on the Red Sea coast of Ethiopia and Eritrea. My articles about the Beja and Oromo peoples in the region also gives some historical information and mentions how different ethnicities intermarry and new peoples emerge. The Beja It can also be said to be an incompatibility, as of two things that cannot be simultaneously fulfilled. The Journey of Man:  A Genetic Odyssey - See the book on Amazon These large, dominant ethnic groups of the Ethiopian highlands (including Eritrea) are speakers of a group of Semitic languages, brought to the area from the Arabian peninsula, likely by the Sabean peoples. Question: Tribalism, they argue, is the basis for hatred between peoples within a country as well as between countries. Spencer Wells has written up the historical conclusions from this comparative DNA study, which reads like an exciting novel: At K=9, distinct ancestral components defined the Afroasiatic-speaking populations inhabiting North Africa and Northeast Africa; the Nilo-Saharan-speaking populations in Northeast Africa and East Africa; the Ari populations in Northeast Africa; the Niger-Congo-speaking populations in West-Central Africa, West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa; the Pygmy populations in Central Africa; and the Khoisan populations in Southern Africa. The Sabeans were one base of the peoples in the Horn of Africa now speaking Semitic languages. Please give credit and link back. Ancient African Empires You can read about some of these in the following article: Some Somali clans even claim origins in Arab clans across the Red Seas. Out of Africa's Eden by Stephen Oppenheimer (US Title: The Real Eve:  Modern Man's Journey Out of Africa), First written as an email reply to a question from a reader 25 January 2006 According to a 2013 World Bank report, Ethiopia had a … In the Horn of Africa, for instance, they split Somalis into French Somaliland, British Somalia, Italian Somalia, Ethiopian Somalia, and the Somali region of northern Kenya. The language family of Amhara people is Semitic and Afro-Asiatic. The Sabeans and Other Ancient Genetics and Tongues:  Distinguishing Fact from Legend and Modern from Ancient, Yemenis in Southern Africa: How Nguni South African and Yemeni Arab Genes Combined in Central Africa, Ancient Ethnic Migrations (ca. We can of course perceive some general patterns, and these are the basis of our broad distinctions between various individuals and population groups. The Horn of Africa has active groups including, a jihadist movement, but even more ethnic leasing, revolts, slavery and starvation outweigh the problems presented by terrorism. Tigre, Tigray, Tigrinya - Ethnicities, Languages and Politics If African states are to take their rightful place in the world, progressive Africans believe, tribalism must be destroyed. In fact, in this region the existence of transnational ethnic groups plays an important role in conflict diffusion or escalation. In the past physical features has been one basis on which some have tried to categorize groups of humans. Thus African peoples from Bantu-speaking and Nilotic background, as well as some Cushites, have a known different origin in historic times from the Semitic-speaking peoples of the Ethiopian highlands.
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