Arsi Oromo in Ethiopia


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Oromo, are the largest, most widely dispersed people group in Ethiopia. The Oromo are composed of approximately a dozen tribal clusters. Nearly all the Oromo speak mutually intelligible dialects of the Oromo language. Although they retain similarities in their descent system, they differ considerably in religion, lifestyle, and political organization.

Migrating from the Horn of Africa, the Oromo arrived in Ethiopia four centuries ago. Together with the Amhara and the Tigrai, they dominated the government and military classes of the Ethiopian Empire. In the 1700s and 1800s, the Arusi became a prominent force in Abyssinian (Ethiopian) politics. During the nineteenth century, they converted to Islam. Today, they are more apt to speak Amhara and Tigrinya than Oromo, their native tongue.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Arsi are herdsmen with a warrior tradition which determines a man's status by the number of livestock he owns. Virility and male attributes are considered desirable, with bravery and war being stressed. Riding, spear throwing, and fighting are also emphasized. Although warfare against enemies is honored, peace within the group is demanded.

Most Arsi live in rural areas where they make a living mainly from raising animals along with some farming. The typical dwelling is a tukal, or a circular hut made of acacia branches covered with grass mats. The cone-shaped roof has an opening that allows smoke to escape. Their staple diet includes durra (a cereal grain), maize, beans, rice, milk, meat, and wild fruits. Coffee and tea are both popular beverages.

The Arsi family is headed by an authoritarian father who has the right to expect total obedience. Men usually have only one wife, and children are considered a necessity. The more children and grandchildren a man has, the greater his prestige.

Arsi boys are taught to use a spear and begin training at an early age to become warriors. Traditionally, men ready to marry were expected to present to their brides part of a man who they had killed. The killing of a man was customarily a part of becoming a full-fledged adult as well as part of certain festivals. Although this tradition survives, wild animals are now used instead of humans.

One basic value of the Arsi-Galla is tokuma, which is identification with the group. Cooperation is central to this system, especially in work arrangements. The Arsi-Galla have a reputation for being easygoing and sociable. They value hospitality and almsgiving, but more to relatives and friends than to strangers.

Some Arsi-Galla have moved to the towns, attracted by employment opportunities and modern schooling. Others have entered national security forces, the industrial labor force, or the fields of trade, transportation, and education.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of the Arsi are Muslim; however, their traditional religion is still practiced by over part of the population. These ethnic religionists worship a supreme being named Waqa. Wadaja feasts are organized on various occasions, and livestock is sacrificed in Waqa's honor. Today, these feasts reflect a Muslim influence.

Many Arsi still believe that objects such as trees, springs, and rocks have spirits. It is also believed that spirits called jinn may take possession of people. While fasting during Ramadan is observed by most adults, celebration of other Muslim festivals is limited.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Oromo, Arsi in Ethiopia.

* Pray for the Lord of the harvest to call missionaries to work among this group.
* Pray they will come to know of the one Sacrifice given on their behalf.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.


Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Oromo, Arsi
People Name in Country Oromo, Arsi
Natural Name Arsi Oromo
Population this Country 6,469,000
Population all Countries 6,472,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 4
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed
Alternate Names
People ID 19652
ROP3 Code 114842
Country Ethiopia
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 36  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country South Oromia region; Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ region; Amhara, Afar, and Somali regions.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Ethiopia
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 36  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country South Oromia region; Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ region; Amhara, Afar, and Somali regions..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Language Oromo, Borana-Arsi-Guji (6,469,000 speakers)
Language Code gax   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Arsi
Dialect Code 1431   Global Recordings Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Oromo, Borana-Arsi-Guji (6,469,000 speakers)
Language Code gax   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Arsi
Dialect Code 1431   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Oromo, Borana-Arsi-Guji

Primary Language:  Oromo, Borana-Arsi-Guji

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1870-1966)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1875-1979)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1967-1994)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings DAVAR Partners recording, Old Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament- Bora (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Oromo, Borana-Arsi-Guji
Film / Video King of Glory movie
Mobile App Download Audio Bible app as APK File from FCBH
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 3.80 %)
10.00 %
Ethnic Religions
8.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
82.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
0.0 %
Orthodox
75.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
25.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source International Mission Board-SBC - Erik Laursen   Creative Commons  Used with permission
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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