Anfillo in Ethiopia

Joshua Project has identified the Anfillo only in Ethiopia





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Anfillo are from the Omotic language group and have linguistic similarity with Shakacho. The Anfillo people were originally speakers of the Nilo-Saharan language but, abandoning it, shifted to the Omotic language of their conquerors, the Busasi from Kefa when they fell under their domination in the seventeenth century AD. Because of the severe repression and slavery which they experienced under the Busasi, the Anfillo people fled from their original land to Anfillo which is located at the heartland of Wellega.

Coming into contact with the Oromo people of Wellega, once again they abandoned their Omotic language to become speakers of the Oromo language. Today the Southern Mao of the Anfillo people found around Anfillo in Oromiya Regional State are all native speakers of Oromiffa. The Mao are agriculturalists growing maize, durrha, tef, barley, beans, coffee, and enset. They make much use of honey and press beeswax into cakes which they sell in quantities. Cattle are scarce, but numerous goats and sheep are to be found. They are good hunters who could organize hunting lasting for a week. Their diet consists of milk and butter from sheep and goats.

According to Cerulli, the southern Mao have modeled their social and political organizations on that of their Sidama overlords, the Busasi, based on the Kefa feudal system. They have a hereditary king or chief (kedderaso) who rules through four clan heads (niho) who are elected by the elders. The Kedderaso himself is, in turn, subject to the chief (taro) of the Busasi, the Cushitic ruling class of the province.

In marriage, the custom is clan exogamous. Marriage is concluded by means of an exchange of brides between two clans, the bride, usually given to the other clan being the suitor's sister.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Mao believe in a supreme being whom they call Yere, who has two assistants. The first, Sanci Gai, is the creator of the Mao to whom prayer is made in the event of an epidemic. The second, Karifo, is the lord of the rain, and prayers are made to him for the success of the harvest.

Profile Source:   Dr. Samuel Kebreab  

People Name General Anfillo
People Name in Country Anfillo
Population in Ethiopia 4,900
World Population 4,900
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.1
Least-Reached No
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Southern Mao
Affinity Bloc Horn of Africa Peoples
People Cluster Omotic
People Name General Anfillo
Ethnic Code CMT33d
People ID 10318
Country Ethiopia
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 22  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Anfillo Forest, west of Dembi Dolo.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Anfillo (4,900)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Anfillo 4,900
For Primary Language: Anfillo

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
None reported  
Primary Religion: Islam

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 4.50 %)
9.00 %
Ethnic Religions
10.00 %
0.00 %
81.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
10.0 %
75.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
15.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source: Dr. Samuel Kebreab  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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