Amhara people

Amhara people

The Amhara are an ethnic group who live in the central highlands of Ethiopia., who speak Amharic, an Afro-Asiatiac language. Numbering about 19. million people, they comprise 26% of the country's population according to the 2007 national census.

About Amhara people

The Amhara (Amharic, Ge'ez:) are an ethnic group (but see below) inhabiting the central highlands of Ethiopia. Numbering about 19. million people, they comprise 26% of the country's population according to the 2007 national census. They speak Amharic, an Afro-Asiatic tongue, which is the working language of the federal authorities of Ethiopia. The derivation of the name "Amhara" is debated; according to some it comes from the word amari, meaning "pleasing, agreeable, beautiful and gracious" (also mehare, "gracious", containing the same m-h-r root as the verb to learn), while some Ethiopian historians such as Getachew Mekonnen Hasen say it is an ethnic name connected with Himyarites. Still others say that it derives from Ge'ez, meaning "free people" (i.e. from Ge'ez "_am" meaning "people," and "h.ara", meaning "free" or "soldier"), though others, such as Donald Levine, have dismissed this as a folk etymology.

Contributions by Gyrofrog, Yom, and AmbaSel.