Synopses & Reviews
This work traces the cultural and political history of the Oromo and their relationship with the Ethiopian state. In recent years, Ethiopia has experienced ethnic conflicts, divisions, and balkanization, including the emergence of Oromo nationalism and the notion of Oromia. Oromo are one of the largest ethnic groups in Ethiopia, generally referred to until recently as Galla -- a name of outside imposition. Since the 1970s, Oromohood and the assertion of the self-identifying name Oromo have forced themselves upon the awareness of the central Ethiopian state and external observers. This book narrates the history of the conquest of Oromo from the mid-19th century by successive Ethiopian emperors, and their subjugation and rule from Addis Ababa in the 20th century. It details the rise of pan-Oromo consciousness, the formation of the Oromo liberation front, and the potent force of Oromo ethno-nationalism today. Recent political processes in the region that have ramifications for Oromo nationalist aspirations are discussed. The author's perspective is in the radical intellectual tradition, and the theme of the book reflects current preferences for a redefinition of ethnic identity.