Hadiya Ethiopia: Libidoo (Maraqo , Marako) Hadiya Girls at a wedding ceremony, singing and dancing (1972-4)

The Depth of Historic Connections Among Oromo Hadiya Raayaa Azaaboo Ashaange

The following is taken from A History of the Hadiyya in Southern Ethiopia book by Ulrich Braukamper, 2012 pp 135/136.

The occupation and settlement by the Oromo in Dallo must have already started around 1530, as in 1537 their concentrated penetration towards the north-east into the neighbouring territory of Bale was reported.274 It cannot be ruled out that already before the exodus of large Hadiyya groups in the direction of Wäǧ, an ethnic and cultural symbiosis between both peoples began to emerge. Marriage relations between neighbouring groups, which occasionally led to an extensive merging, were anyway a prevalent custom in southern Ethiopia. Together with the standardized traditions are the statements of the Arsi and the Hadiyya that both groups had been together from the beginning. An extensive assimilation of the autochthonous Hadiyya ensued only in the years after 1530, however, and continued as the Oromo migration movement successively went northward. Informative indications of the integration process can be gleaned from the genealogical comparison with the progenitor Humbanaa’s position and that of his sons.

This man, also called Hubanaa, is believed to be the ancestor of many Arsi, Anniyya and Baarentuu who then developed into independent ethnic groups in the following generations. Simultaneously, Hube or Hubaychoo appears as a forefather of the Leemo-Hadiyya resulting out of a liaison of his father Annaqqo with a woman who is said to have come from Arabia. Significantly also in the Oromo name Hubanaa (Hube anna) the Hadiyya word for father or offspring was preserved.

Rayyaa, Azaaboo and Ashaange are specified as the three sons of Hube’anaa in all of the traditions recorded. They were bom in Dallo where Hube’anaa is sup­posed to have lived. Rayyaa is just another version of Raayituu, the name of the clan still living in that area today. Hube or Hubaychoo dispatched his offsprings both to eastern Bale as well as to northern Ethiopia to Wallo and Tigray in 1530. The name Rayyaa designates the name of an ancestor and a descending ethnic group and it also stands for one of the four sections of the Arsi-Oromo which are defined according to topographical crite­ria, namely the area between the rivers Wabi Saballe, Ganaale and Wayb[Hadiyya concentration]. Present location of Rayyaa[Wollo and Tigray] is also deemed to be the original homeland of some Hadiyya tribes, like for example the Baadawwaachcho and Shaashoogo. This has already been mentioned in the analysis of the tribal legends with regard to the ethnogenesis of the groups con­cerned.

The name of Hube’anaa’s second son Azaaboo was preserved in an Oromo group in present-day Tigray’ though are Hadiyya geonologically and also the third son, Ashaange, is represented as an ethnic and geographic designation in the border area of Wallo and Tigray. According to Leemo -Hadiyya geonology Ashaange was a forebear who lived in Weera, not far from Lake Abbayya. Aashanchcho, derived from this name, has remained a common ethnonym of the Leemo until today and the traditional title of their rulers is asha ’n garaad.

What stands out more distinctly is that the Oromo pushed down from their loca­tions in the highlands and assimilated with the Hadiyya in the lowland zones of Dallo and Lake Abbayya. They obviously absorbed them so completely in this region that since then the Rayyaa, for example, simply count as one of the “most senior” groups of all the Oromo. Of all the Hube’anaa descendants only a section of the Ashaange distinctively preserved their ethnic identity as Hadiyya, namely the Leemo-Gudaalla especially.

The advance of the Oromo into Hadiyya and Dallo presumably took place in the form of a peaceful infiltration in the course of which the old established people were not subjugated and sometimes even rose to leading positions. The Raayituu, the clan of the abbaa muuda, are genealogically related to the Haballo and identified as a group of Hadiyya descent, which is also confirmed by the Arabic names in the gene­alogies, However there is unquestionable evi­dence of their belonging to the historic Hadiyya already at the time of cAmda Sayon and Zar’a Yaleqob (cf. pp. xxx).

The Hadiyya and Oromo in the 16th century, were agropastoralists with similar economic strategies, their fusing together required no far-reaching cultural transitions and changes. With the extension of the gadaa system among the Hadiyya, the Oromo language asserted itself. This became a basic prerequisite enabling the Oromo to accomplish complete assimilation.

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