Rer Bare people
The Rer Bare (or Rerebere, Adona) are a tribe in Ethiopia's eastern Ogaden region on the Shabele River, near Somalia, who currently speak Somali. They appear to have shifted to Somali from a now-extinct language.
Language and origins
This non-Somali language seems to have been first mentioned in print by Lionel Bender in 1975:
- D. W. Mcclure, Sr. first reported to me the presence of Sudanese immigrants on the Wabi Shebelle River at Gode in the eastern Ogaden. They are said to have their own language, bearing the given name [Rerebere]. Later Taye Reya informed me that Sudanese immigrants are found along the Ganale and Dawa Rivers as well, and that they are referred to by the Somali as rer bare (rer means sub-tribe in Somali.) They are also known as adona, and they speak Somali as well as their own language... I cannot say with certainty whether they speak one or more languages of what any of them is... So far no linguistic data has come my way.
Others have linked the Rer Bare to the Bantu language family, implying that they may be the remnants of a Bantu-speaking pre-Somali population or, like the "Somali Bantu" in the Jubba River valley of southern Somalia, the descendants of Bantu slaves imported from other parts of East Africa in the 19th century. Tobias Hagmann refers to them as "Somalised Bantu". According to Ulrich Braukämper,
- The Adonē, a dark-skinned Somali-speaking population on the banks of the Wabi Shäbälle, are obviously the offspring of Bantu slaves who settled and expanded there since the 19th century.
- Rer Bare language reference at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- Hagmann, Tobias (2005): Challenges of decentralisation in Ethiopia's Somali Region, Briefing for Review of African Political Economy Vol. 32, No. 103, p. 5
- Braukämper, Ulrich (2003): Islamic History and Culture in Southern Ethiopia. Collected Essays, Göttinger Studien zur Ethnologie 9, ISBN 978-3-8258-5671-7 (p. 15, 137)
- H. G. C. Swayne, "A Trip to Harar and Imé", Geographical Journal, 2 (September 1893), p. 251
- Ahmed Yusuf Farah, United Nations Development Programme: Permanent Agricultural Settlements Along The Webi Shabelle River In Gode Zone Of The Ethiopian Somali National Regional State (1995) (PDF)
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