Origins of Cushitic
- The Galla are of Cushitic origin.
- They are a branch of the plain Nilotics who migrated from southern Ethiopia.
- They are thought to have originated from Ethiopia then moved to Somalia and finally entered East Africa.
- They are a nomadic pastoral tribe that occupies the Eastern parts of Kenya.
- The Galla traditional structure was connected to the age set system based on ten groups.
- Every male belonged to a single group throughout his life.
- Each age set was headed by a leader called Abba-Boku for 8 years.
- Abba-Boku presided over meetings and formulated laws governing his age set.
- Abba-Boku was seen as a ritual and natural affairs expert.
- Abba-Boku was assisted by 3 other elders all from distinguished families.
- From the age of ten, boys were supposed to train as warriors.
- The Galla thus became a fierce warrior society respected over a wide area.
- They carried spears and shields into the battle fields.
- Each age group came up for promotion every eight years and when this happened, its leader had to take his people to a new territory.
- This would eventually lead to the expansion of the Galla territory.
- The Galla believed in a supreme being called Waqa.
- Waqa was believed to be the controller of everyones destiny.
- He always granted favours and protection especially in times of battle.
- There existed both good and bad spirits living in lakes, rivers, mountains and trees.
- Later on, some became Muslims due to interaction with the Muslims from Ethiopia.
- They had the age set system where every male belonged to a particular group throughout his life.
- Hunting of animals was carried out as a test of manhood.
- They were a pastoral society who moved from place to place in search of water and pasture.
- They kept animals such as cattle, goats, sheep, camels and donkeys.
- Their constant movements in search of water and pastures brought them into conflicts with other tribes like the Masai and Somali.
- They carried out small scale agriculture and grew grains, peas, beans, vegetables and pepper.
- Limited fishing and hunting were also carried out.
- Traded with their neighbours like the Somali, Ethiopians and Swahili Arabs.