About Borana

Origin:  The Borana is one of the major pastoralist groups who belong to large ethnic group of Oromo society. It is believed that Oromos inhabited a territory surrounding mada walabu, a region located in southern Oromia region of Ethiopia, before expansion in all direction.  Borana inhabits Southern part of Oromia and Northern Kenya. Borana trace their origin to Tulu Nama Durii, currently known as Mada Walaabu. The Liban territory, together with another Borana region, Dire that is located to the west of Dawa River, are still some of the traditional territories of the Borana.  The Borana migration to the southernmost lowland occurred around sixteenth-century. This migration was facilitated by the Gada system, with its militaristic and expansionistic features; Gada system was a Boran traditional institution that has structured social, political and economic life of the wider Borana. Since the 1600s, the Borana have been migrating, and currently distributed all over the world (North America, Europe, Canada, England, and Australia) forming part of a wider African Diaspora network.

Language: Borana are speakers of Afaan Oromo. Afaan oromo is Eastern Cushitic language, a classification that belongs to the family of Afro-Cushitic. Borana refers to their language as afan Borana, a dominant language spoken within the Borana region in Ethiopia and Kenya.

Demographic distribution: Majority of the Borana live in Oromia region of Ethiopia and others in Northern Kenyan. In Ethiopia Borana inhabit Liban and Dire, while in Kenya they mainly occupy the present territories of Moyale, Saku, and Waso.

Cultural heritage: The Borana people have rich collections of oral literature that includes myths, legends, folktales, riddles, and proverbs. These are passed down through the generations.  However, the core of Borana history and cultural tradition is the Gada, an egalitarian social political organization based on genealogical age whose leader, known as Aba Gada, who is elected after every eight years. The highest of this organ is a Borana assembly called Gumi Gayo. Here, multitude of people gather to debate and participate in a consensus based decision making process on issues central to the Borana. This aspect gives the Gada its famous democratic nature.  Although the Kenyan Borana has modified their Gada practices partly because of their distance from the Gada rituals, colonization, and conversion to Islam and Christianity, Gada is still practiced by the Borana of Ethiopia. The Kenyan Borana although unable to fully participate in the wider Gada system with their kinsmen in Ethiopia, they have continued to celebrate their ritual festivals.

Economy:  Ecologically, the Borana southern territory in Ethiopia that stretches into northern Kenya is largely semi-arid, and because of this aridity the Borana pursue pastoralism. In both Ethiopia and Kenya, majority of the Borana live in the rural areas and continue to practice pastoral lifestyles, a subsistence production based on herding of livestock such as cattle, goats, sheep, and camel.  Pastoralism is characterized by the seasonal migration of the herders and their livestock.  Although for the majority of the Borana pastoralism continue to be the mainstay of their livelihood, however, the Borana have also adapted many aspects of their life.  Some parts of the societies are being integrated gradually into the present social, political, and economical systems of both countries through education, formal and informal employment.

Current Abba Gadaa and his councils

Current Borana Gadaa Councilors.
Names Clan (gossa) Tittle Types of councils
Guyo Goba Bule Digalu Adulla Fite ( head of councils) Arbor
Roba Jarso Konitu Adulla Kontom
Murqu Doyo Awatu Adulla Kontom
Boru Jarso Karrayu Adulla Arbor
Jaldes Doyo Qarchabdu Adulla Arbor
Quri Liban Matari Adulla Arbor

32 thoughts on “About Borana

  1. My massage to all borana youths .be focus on this wherever you are talk of uniting ..let abolished clanism .i mean gosomit..wal malee womaa inqabnuu ..kayoma qamna .womaa nuu indhiban .gulanta ken inrratti jilbifanee .adaa kena karofannuu.

  2. horaa bulaa deebana!mata gosa taha! fula aduloota gosa isi barresitani sun yo irra goru badhee Roobi Jaarsoo waaqo hawwaxxo mulo miti?fula suni midhasa!

  3. This is the first step in the documentation of our cultural heritage. Kudos to all that sacrificed and contributed to this noble idea. Long live Boran!

  4. Aadaa ufi tuufachuu uf tufachu keessa issa tokko,nuu dhaaloti ammaa kun maanguddota irraa baarre dhaalota nuu booda akka baarsimnu abdii haa qabanu,kaa aadaa waalbarsiimne waal-irraa baaranaa

  5. we borena have very structured,beautful and attractive cultures.tanaafu waan guutu abba liiban yaadi ani qabuu aadaa teena dansaa tana ha gudifnu.

  6. Borantity tenna akka jabesinu dhiroo namu olíi ejjaa. Kun xiqqîi tenna hidhanne alkan guyyaa waan guddinna lafa tenna farsutti jirra. Fulaa JATO ALII irraa deeme nu akkam dhiroo aga ammatti waan sun nama irraa fudhe dhaban. Kaha inrafina dammaqa sabi biyyaa cufti yaa nu bira godane. Nu qofatti ona qara cisa isaan iltii lafa isaan gartii.


  7. Boranas are beloved community by God almighty that is y any community who fight it can’t succeed. God bless borana much more.

  8. This is good initiative. It is what we need as a community.
    The phenomenon of this world has negative/weakness and pride side.
    The weakness of this paltform and all Borana in the world is they shy away from their identity.

    It is time we wake up and look reason behind Gadayo Galgalo creation of Borana system of governance and social system.

    We have left our societal set up and now modernity is making us astray.

    Ladies and Gentalmen try to thing of Borana future and how shall our children be.

    Arda jilla should come out of curtain and be involvef majority borana populace.


  9. Nun cufti borana borantiti hojjachu malle. ammo obboleeyan tiyya wanni ani isanii dhaamu fula jirtanitti yayyaba Jaatani Ali jalqabe (public service) irra du’e it haa yaannu.

  10. My name is Abduba Gababo. I live in moyale Ethiopia. I believe that we all r borana oromo. I am not historians but I read history so much & get different sources that make borana oromo which belongs cushatic speaking family. THANKS

  11. Abo nun Ethiopia d’uguma afan oromo dubana tun amo afan kena awwaluniti nutu iddi dhalota kena oromo. ada kiya ubachu malte.

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