Neha Patil

Argobba people

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The Argobba are an ethnic group inhabiting Ethiopia. A Muslim community, they are spread out through isolated village networks and towns in the northeastern and eastern parts of the country. Group members have typically been astute traders and merchants, and have adjusted to the economic trends in their area. These factors have led to a decline in usage of the Argobba language.



Argobba is derived from Arab geba, which means Arabs have entered.


Argobba communities can be found in the Afar, Harari, Amhara, and Oromia Regions, in and along the Great Rift Valley. They include Yimlawo, Gusa, Shonke, Berehet, Khayr Amba, Melka Jilo, Aliyu Amba, Metehara, Shewa Robit, and the surrounding rural villages.


The Argobba traditionally speak the Argobba language, an Afro-Asiatic tongue of the kushitic branch. In some places, Argobba has homogenized with Oromo. In other areas, the people have shifted to neighboring languages for economic reasons. At this time there are only a few areas left where the Argobba are not at least bilingual in Amharic, Oromiffa or Afar. All of these languages have a literature that can be used to serve the Argobba, even though their current literacy rate in any language is low; the Argobba reportedly do not like to send their children to school because they will be influenced by the non-Moslem world. This is the same reason that the Argobba do not go to court.


Argobba people Wikipedia

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