Borana Oromo people

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Borana is also an alternate Spanish name of the Boran sub-family of the larger Witotoan language family.
Borana Oromo
Regions with significant populations
Ethiopia, Kenya
Islam, Waaq[1]
Related ethnic groups
Oromo · Barentu · Gabbra and other Cushitic peoples.

The Borana Oromo, also called the Boran, are a pastoralist ethnic group living in southern Ethiopia (Oromia) and northern Kenya.[1] They are a moiety of the Oromo people,[2] the other being the Barentu Oromo.


Borana Oromo women

Oromos in northern Kenya first entered the region from southern Ethiopia during a major expansion in the late 10th century. They then differentiated into the cattle-keeping Borana and the camel-keeping Gabbra, Sakuye and Rendille.[3]

The Borana speak Borana (or afaan Booranaa), a dialect of Oromo language, which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family of languages. Roughly over 7 million people identify as Boranas.[4]

Borana calendar[edit]

Main article: The Borana calendar

It is believed that the Borana developed their own calendar around 300 BC. The Borana calendar is a lunar-stellar calendrical system, relying on astronomical observations of the moon in conjunction with seven particular stars or constellations. Borana Months (Stars/Lunar Phases) are Bittottessa (Triangulum), Camsa (Pleiades), Bufa (Aldebaran), Waxabajjii (Bellatrix), Obora Gudda (Central Orion: Saiph), Obora Dikka (Sirius), Birra (full Moon), Cikawa (gibbous Moon), Sadasaa (quarter Moon), Abrasa (large Crescent), Ammaji (medium Crescent), and Gurrandala (small Crescent).[5]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Oromo, Borana-Arsi-Guji (Ethnologue)
  2. ^ Aguilar, Mario. "The Eagle as Messenger, Pilgrim and Voice: Divinatory Processes among the Waso Boorana of Kenya". Journal of Religion in Africa, Vol. 26, Fasc. 1 (Feb., 1996), pp. 56-72. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  3. ^ Elliot M. Fratkin, Eric Abella Roth, As Pastoralists Settle, (Springer: 2005), p.39
  4. ^ Appiah & Gates 1999, p. 288.
  5. ^ Lawrence R. Doyle, The Borana Calendar REINTERPRETED


Further reading[edit]

  • Asmarom Legesse. Gada Three Approaches to the Study of African Society. The Free Press A Division of McMillan Co. Inc, 1973
  • Beckingham and G.W.B. Huntingford, Some records of Ethiopia Hakluyt Society, 1954
  • Bassi Marco, Decisions in the Shade. Political and juridical processes among the Oromo-Borana Red Sea Press, 2005
  • Clifford H F Plowman CMG OBE, Notes On The Gedamoch Ceremonies Among The Boran, (Journal of the Royal African Society, Vol. 18, No. 70 (Jan., 1919), pp. 114-121 )