The Power of Afaan Oromo as a Device for Explaining Africa’s Prehistory: An Africology Perspective

  • Dereje Tadesse Birbirso


Adopting an Africology and evolutionary linguistics perspective, this study shall exploit classical and contemporary archives and explores the linguistic, epistemological, theological and relational power of Afaan Oromo in explaining Africa‘s pre-history. In so doing, this paper explains away the colonial historians and their students who usually begin Oromo history only from 16th century. Early Egyptologists first studied Afaan Oromo in order to understand Ancient Kemet or Egyptian hieroglyphics and texts. Similarly, early Assyriologists studied Afaan Oromo and Oromo culture in order to decipherer Babylonian cuneiform texts. Moreover, comparative theologians used Afaan Oromo and culture to understand the origin of major religions of the world. Early African travelers, too, were convinced that Afaan Oromo was not only the lingua franca of Africa up until 19th century CE, but was possibly the language of the Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Nile Valley or possibly even of Hittite from which was Indo-European languages emerged as offshoot. This paper contributes significant substantive and historical implications that are highlighted for researchers who want to use Oromo language and institutional themes as a launching pad to study African prehistory.

Keywords: Africology; Kemet; Kushite; Meroe; Oromiya

Author Biography

Dereje Tadesse Birbirso

Haramaya University, School of Foreign Languages and Journalism, Associate Professor of Language & Critical Social Science