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Waaq (also Waq or Waaqa) is the ancient name for god in the Cushitic languages of both the Oromo and Somali people in the Horn of Africa.[1][2][3]

In Oromo culture, Waaq, Waaqa or Waaqo was the name of god in a purported early monotheistic faith believed to have been adhered to by Cushitic groups.[2]

In totality, there only exists, in present-day, sparsely circulated legends that some use to derive this Waaq figure coupled with archaic word associations that are not currently in use today. Moreover, it is a challenging task to come to conclusions about the obscure history of mythology in Somalis in late antiquity because of the lack of source material on the matter.[3] The handful of books that do mention Waaq were all written after 1990. It is with a critical mind that one must seriously question the integrity of this myth and its supposed prevalence amongst Somalis in an era where the aforementioned subject of the debate has no written historical accounts about it, and only after a millennium would we begin to see second-hand accounts being produced. However, an additional point is that Waaq is the word for God in colloquial, archaic Cushitic languages of both the Oromo and Somali people. It also appears in the Qur'aan.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thomas, Douglas; Alanamu, Temilola (2018-12-31). African Religions: Beliefs and Practices through History. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-61069-752-1.
  2. ^ a b Mohamed Diriye Abdullahi, Culture and Customs of Somalia, (Greenwood Publishing Group: 2001), p.65.
  3. ^ a b c Samatar, Said S. "Unhappy masses and the challenge of political Islam in the Horn of Africa". Horn of Africa. 20: 1–10.

Further reading[edit]

  • Cerulli, Enrico. "Les noms personnels en somali". In: Onomastica. Revue Internationale de Toponymie et d'Anthroponymie, 2e année N°2, juin 1948. Deuxième congrès international de toponymie et d'anthroponymie (3e et dernière série) pp. 139-142. [DOI: https://doi.org/10.3406/rio.1948.1044] ; www.persee.fr/doc/rio_0995-872x_1948_num_2_2_1044
  • Etefa, Tsega. (2012). "The Indigenous and the Foreign". In: Integration and Peace in East Africa. pp. 127-167. 1057/9781137091635_6.
  • Gascon, Alain; Hirsch, Bertrand. "Les espaces sacrés comme lieux de confluence religieuse en Éthiopie". In: Cahiers d'études africaines, vol. 32, n°128, 1992. pp. 689-704. [DOI: https://doi.org/10.3406/cea.1992.1533] ; www.persee.fr/doc/cea_0008-0055_1992_num_32_128_1533
  • Geda, G.J.. (2013). Irreecha: An indigenous thanksgiving ceremony of the Oromo to the high God Waaqa. [1]
  • Haji, Abbas. "Pouvoir de bénir et de maudire: cosmologie et organisation sociale des Oromo-Arsi". In: Cahiers d'études africaines, vol. 37, n°146, 1997. La Corne dans tous ses États. pp. 289-318. [DOI: https://doi.org/10.3406/cea.1997.3515] ; www.persee.fr/doc/cea_0008-0055_1997_num_37_146_3515
  • Kelbessa, Workineh. "The Oromo Conception of Life: An Introduction." Worldviews 17, no. 1 (2013): 60-76. www.jstor.org/stable/43809476.
  • Mire, Sada. "Wagar, Fertility and Phallic Stelae: Cushitic Sky-God Belief and the Site of Saint Aw-Barkhadle, Somaliland." The African Archaeological Review 32, no. 1 (2015): 93-109. www.jstor.org/stable/43916848.
  • Mohamed-Abdi, Mohamed. "Les anthroponymes Somalis". In: Anthropologie somalienne. Besançon: Université de Franche-Comté, 1993. pp. 177-184. (Annales littéraires de l'Université de Besançon, 495) www.persee.fr/doc/ista_0000-0000_1993_act_495_1_2875
  • Mohamed-Abdi, Mohamed. "Villages-maisons-parcours ou la structuration Somalie de l'espace". In: Anthropologie somalienne. Besançon: Université de Franche-Comté, 1993. pp. 137-156. (Annales littéraires de l'Université de Besançon, 495) www.persee.fr/doc/ista_0000-0000_1993_act_495_1_2873
  • Prunier, Gérard. "Segmentarité et violence dans l'espace somali, 1840-1992". In: Cahiers d'études africaines, vol. 37, n°146, 1997. La Corne dans tous ses États. pp. 379-401. [DOI: https://doi.org/10.3406/cea.1997.3519] ; www.persee.fr/doc/cea_0008-0055_1997_num_37_146_3519