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Waaq (also Waq or Waaqa) is the name of God in the traditional religion of many Cushitic people in the Horn of Africa.[1]


In Oromo culture, Waaq or Waaqo denotes the single god of the early monotheistic faith believed to have been adhered to by Cushitic groups. This belief system still somewhat exists in some Oromo societies.[1]

With regard to the Somalis, since no indigenous spiritual group has survived, no ancient deities and spirits are known. Early beliefs can therefore be hypothesized from certain customs and words, such as waaq (sky-god), an archaic Somali term for a sky deity. According to Somali Legend Eebo lived in the Heavens and whenever the nomads successfully prayed for rain it was known as Barwaaqo (God's rain). Also in Somalia there are many clans and places called Waaq; such as Ceel Waaq, which mean "the well of God" and Caabud Waaq, which mean "where Waaq is worshiped". Some Somalis of the Darod clans still have Waaq names like the Jid Waaq clan, the Ogaden Tagaal Waaq sub-clan and the Majeerteen Siwaaqroon sub-clan. Also there are many Somali language uses of Waaq name, like BarWaaqo, which mean "when the land is prosperous and filled with green grass".[1][2]

The Rendille people still largely retain their traditional faith which is centered around Waaq.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Mohamed Diriye Abdullahi, Culture and Customs of Somalia, (Greenwood Publishing Group: 2001), p.65.
  2. ^ Saints and Somalis: Popular Islam in a Clan-based Society, I.M Lewis, p.137