Arbore in Ethiopia

Photo Source:  Ivano Poggi 
Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Arbore
Country: Ethiopia
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 13,000
World Population: 13,000
Primary Language: Arbore
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 1.30 %
Evangelicals: 1.30 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Omotic
Affinity Bloc: Horn of Africa Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Arbore is the name of their first ancestor. The Arbore people speak their own language, Arbore, one of the Omotic languages. They live west of the Woito River (which flows from north to south into the swampy plain which was once lake Stefanie), northeast of the lake, and on the right bank of the lower Sagan. The Arbore claim that they have always lived in their present territory. In the past, they used to possess the monopoly of the ivory trade. The Arbore live only in Ethiopia. In the space of a few square miles, there are four large Arbore villages, Jellifa, Egudi, Gula'ma and Gondara'ba, the last being their main center and the residence of their paramount chief. Their homeland is where there are several tribal boundaries.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Arbore are very active traders and spread into distant areas. They exchange cattle for agricultural products from the Amare Kokke and acquire worked iron from the Kerre and Borana. Most herd cows, goats and sheep. The Arbore build oval huts for their homes. They have a bodily mutilation of raised dots on the chest and abdomen. Circumcision is a rite for both boys and girls. Unmarried girls shave their heads as a sign of virginity. Women wear their hair in braids after they marry. Marriage rituals are important to the Arbore people. The father of a young man will select a bride for him. Then he sends four elders with sheep fat to her family. If they accept this gift, the two families begin to plan the wedding. Girls are "circumcised" by their mothers before the wedding. Intertribal marriages are common for the Arbore people.

What Are Their Beliefs?

They are officially Muslim, but their pre-Islamic religion is still strong. For example, they believe they can expel negative energy through singing and dancing. The Arbore believe in a supreme being creator and father of men whom they call Waq. Teachings from the Old Testament might lead them to the Lord.

What Are Their Needs?

The Arbore people do not know they can depend on Jesus Christ and live with the abundant life only he can offer.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to give the Arbore people a sense of spiritual need. Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers to the Arbore people in Ethiopia. Pray for the Lord to demonstrate his love and power by providing for Arbore families. Pray for Arbore disciple to make more disciples.

Text Source:   Joshua Project