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ENCYCLOPAEDIA AETHIOPICA

Volume 4 O–X

Edited by Siegbert Uhlig Editorial Board Baye Yimam Alessandro Bausi Donald Crummey Gianfranco Fiaccadori Gideon Goldenberg Paolo Marrassini Ewald Wagner

2010 Harrassowitz Verlag • Wiesbaden

Publication of this book was supported by a grant of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Vignette: Gold coin of King Afilas, th early 4 cent. A.D., diameter 16 mm, collection Dr. H.D. Rennau, Wien

Editorial team (Hamburg): Maria Bulakh Dirk Bustorf Sophia Dege Andreu Martínez d’Alòs-Moner Alexander Meckelburg Denis Nosnitsin Thomas Rave Wolbert G.C. Smidt Evgenia Sokolinskaia

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Sélti Ewald Wagner, “Selt’i-Verse in arabischer Schrift aus dem Schlobies-Nachlaß”, in: SegBodLes 363–74. Lit.: Eeva H.M. Gutt – Hussein Mohammed Mussa, Silt’e–Amharic–English Dictionary (with Concise Grammar by ERNST-AUGUST GUTT), Addis Ababa 1997; ErnstAugust Gutt, “The Silte Group (East Gurage)”, in: Robert Hetzron (ed.), The Semitic Languages, London 1997, 509–34; Id., “Studies in the Phonology of Silt’i”, JES 16, 1983, 37–73; Id., “On the Conjugation of the Silt’i verb”, ibid. 19, 1986, 91–112; Wolf Leslau, Etymological Dictionary of Gurage, Wiesbaden 1979, vol. 1, 961–1032; Id., “Arabic Loanwords in Selti”, Aethiopica 2, 1999, 103–23. Eeva Gutt

Sélti ethnography The term S. (Fs1 ) is (1) an older variant of the modern ethnonym “Sélte” (Fs3 ) which includes all speakers of the S. language, and it is (2) the name of a major subgroup, the Summus Sélti (‘Eight [districts of] S.’) or “S. proper”. Oral tradition derives the names S. and Sélte from the alleged Summus Sélti ancestor “gän Sélti” (gän[za], ‘ruler of a territory’). Today’s Sélte include the major subgroups of Azärnät, Bärbäre (÷Énnäqor), Alióóo, Wuriro, Mälga (÷Wélbaräg) and Summus Sélti. The great majority of the population is Muslim. Until the second half of the 20th cent., collective designations which included all major subgroups were “Ade(y)a” (from ÷Hadiyya [sultanate]), “Islam” and “East ÷Gurage”, the last being primarily a linguistic category also including ÷Wälane and ÷Zay. They were widely considered to be part of the Gurage. However, after the fall of the Därg in 1991 a political movement formed, claiming an independent ethnic identity of the “Sélte”, as they now called themselves. Ten years later the identity discourse resulted in the administrative secession from the Gurage zone and the establishment of a “Sélte zone” (for the earlier administrative division s. also ÷Hayqoóó-Butagira). The S. language area reaches from the edge of the Gurage highlands up to the lowlands West of Lake Zway and from the area around the Har Šäytan crater lake, south of ÷Butagira, up to the lowlands of Sankura, bordering to the country of ÷Allaaba. The Sélte practice mixed ag- The hadra mosque of the Alkäso zawiya, Sélti; photo 2004, courtesy of the riculture and cattle breeding. In author 607

the highland areas ÷énsät cultivation is predominant, while in the lower regions cereals have more importance. ÷Cat and ÷bärbäre are the most relevant cash crops. Some written sources (e.g., Cecchi 1888: 123f.) describe the involvement of some S. and Wélbaräg traders in slave trade. Since the 19th cent. merchants are engaged in trans-regional trade, especially in ÷coffee, on the caravan route crossing their territory to connect ÷Sidamo province and ÷Šäwa. During the 20th cent. many people from the area migrated to Addis Abäba and other towns in southern Ethiopia. In the capital they, together with the Gurage, make up one of the most important migrant groups. They are specifically known as entrepreneurs in the Märkato (÷Addis Kätäma) and Arada areas. The Chronicle of ase ÷ŸAmdä Séyon mentions an entity allied to this emperor by the name of Sältagi/Séltähi, which can be interpreted as Sélti/e-ge [‘land of S.’] (MarAmdS 100, 213). Braukämper identifies the “East-Gurage” as the only people related to the Hadiyya sultanate who did not adopt a Cushitic language. According to his reconstruction, in the 17th cent. their homeland was located in the highland of ÷Cärcär (BrHad 90, 184). According to oral tradition, today’s Sélte consider themselves descendants of warriors of Arab, or even Šarific, descent who joined ÷Ahmad b. Ibrahim al-Ëazi and his successor amir ÷Nur b. Mugahid. In the wake of the ÷gihad, ancestors, such as, e.g., haggi Aliye Umär, šayò Nasrallah (÷ŸAbdannasir), šayò Bärkälle, imam ÷Íidi, Kabir Hamid and Nur

Sélti

Yusuf, are said to have migrated with their folks into the province of ÷Wäg. There, they settled on the slopes of the highlands and intermingled with the local population, the so-called Ïära (cp. Bustorf 2006). The Oromo migration into and through Wäg during the 17th cent. and constant conflicts with the ÷Libido drove the S.-speaking groups farther west into the highlands. In the 19th cent. scarcity of land and frequent conflicts with the neighbouring Gurage, especially with the warriors of agäz Hamdeno of ÷Geta and damo Mägänas of ÷Gumär (the latter mentioned in Cecchi 1888: 111–28), forced them to leave most of the highland areas (except Mugo, Énnäqor and Alióóo-Wuriro) to the Gurage and to expand their territory to the pastoralist areas in the east and south-east. This again brought them into conflict with the ÷Arsi, Libido, Leemo- and Šaašoogo-Hadiyya. Sélteland was subdued by Ménilék’s troops for the first time in 1879. The earlier marriage of the daughter of the Summus Sélti chief azma[ó] Qälbo with néguí ÷Íahlä Íéllase facilitated a comparatively amicable relation between the leading families and the new rulers. In the course of the further Ethiopian conquest, Sélte warriors, such as, e.g., azma Ormora Gona, became important allies of the Ethiopian empire, notably in the campaigns against the Libido (e.g., 1879) and against King ÷Tona of Wälaytta in 1894. In the 19th cent. the history of the S. speakers was characterized by Islamic revitalism fuelled by an intensified contact with Muslim centres, especially in Wällo, the rise in popularity of the ÷Islamic brotherhoods and opposition towards the expanding Christian empire. The leaders of the six major subgroups in 1881 joined the gihad of ÷Hasän Éngamo of Qabeena against Ménilék and started to reinforce Islam amongst their own people. The integration of Sélteland into Ménilék’s empire after Hasän Éngamo’s defeat in 1889 was followed by the settlement of ÷näftäñña families and the foundation of the first ÷kätäma “S.” (south of today’s Qébät) and Wélbaräg. The family of ras ÷Kaía Òaylu, who was related to the leading Qälbo clan, was entitled with huge lands in the western S. area. During most of their history the Sélte had no common political or judical body above the councils (dämbus) of the different major subgroups. Supra-tribal integration mainly was conducted by certain Islamic leaders (e.g., in the 19th 608

cent., Haruna gošte and šayò “Wälle”; in the 20th cent., Alkäso šayò) and by political and military alliances (÷Gogot) of two or more groups, including sometimes not only S. speakers but also, e.g., ÷Mäsqan and Allaaba. A famous alliance, active between 1936 and the early 1940s, was the so-called Sélti/e Gogot. It united all major subgroups of the Sélte and, under the leadership of imam Sugato Zäyni, could dominate neighbouring ethnic groups. Src.: fieldnotes by the author 2003, 2004, 2005; Antonio Cecchi, Fünf Jahre in Ostafrika, Leipzig 1888, 123f.;
MarAmdS 100, 213. Lit.: Abdulfätah Huldar, #Fqzy (#M_1\y &!y YFs3y Ww-y K<l!y +Ws (Islam bäýityopya énna yäsélte hézb tarikénna bahél, ‘Ethiopian Islam and the History and Culture of the Sélte People’), Addis Abäba 2000; Id., YFs3|My -A=_y uKnMc,y &!y n#M_1\_ |My Wsb!!y &;KMy \(:gIMy !FH`p' (Yäséltennät béherawi mäggäläcawoóó énna läýityopyawinnät hélléwénanna édgät yabäräkkätut astäwaìéýo, ‘National Expression of Sélteness and the Contribution, which They [the Sélte] Made to the Being and Development of Ethiopianess’), Addis Abäba 2002; Abraham Hussen – Habtamu WändÉmmo, (Ts11y <#<y H!N<y Bw-y Y!r?|My (?(>y i-:HA-y +Ws!y K<l (Bäíéltiñña qwanqwa tänagari hézb yäýazärnät bärbäre òébrätäsäb bahélénna tarik, ‘The Society, Culture and History of the Séltiñña Language-speaking Azärnät-Bärbäre’), Addis Abäba 1983 A.M. [1990 A.D.]; BrHad 183–94 et passim; Dirk Bustorf, “Ase Zäýra YaŸéqobs Kinder. Spuren der Vorbevölkerung von Sélte-Land”, Aethiopica 9, 2006, 23–48; Id., Die Sélte: Geschichte, Geschichtserzählung und Geschichtsbewusstsein eines muslimischen Volkes im südlichen Äthiopien, Ph.D. thesis, Universität Hamburg 2009; Id., “Imam Sugato Zäyni: a War-lord of the Selt’é Gogot”, in: PICES 16, 70–81; Nishi Makoto, “Making and Unmaking of the National-State and Ethnicity in Modern Ethiopia: a Study on the History of the Silte People”, African Study Monographs, Supplementary Issue 29, 2005, 157–68; DÉnbäru Alämu et al., QQMz YL=Oy -h:A-y K<ly +Ws!y <#< (Gogot. Yägurage béòeräsäb tarik, bahélénna qwanqwa, ‘Gogot, the History, Culture and Language of the Gurage People’), Wälqite 1987 A.M. [1994/95 A.D.], 48–52; Rahmeto Hussein, The History of Azernet-Berbere until the Expansion of Shoa during Menelik II, Senior Essay, Department of History, Addis Ababa University 1984. Dirk Bustorf

Šémagällä
Š. (%xKn , also Šémagälle, Wäld Šum, lit. ‘son of a leader’) is the designation of a sociopolitical group among ÷Tégre-speakers and the ÷Bilin. Š. is derived from a term in Ethio-Semitic languages which means ‘elder’ (÷Šémagélle), but also connotes a regular leading social role within gerontocratic structures. Among the Tégre and sociopolitically related groups such as the Bilin

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