Wolayta (also spelled Wolaitta) is the name of an ethnic group and its former kingdom, located in southern Ethiopia. According to the most recent census (2007), they number 1.7 million people or 2.31 percent of the country's population, of whom 289,707 are urban inhabitants. Their language, Wolaytta, belongs to the Omotic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. The people of Wolayta have a rich history. Wolaytas are known for their patriotism, rich culture and extremely modern music. The people of Wolayta had their own kingdom for thousands of years with kings (called "Kawo") and a monarchical administration.The earlier name of the kingdom was "The Famous Kingdom of Damot" - this included the south, south east, south west and part of the central region of the present Ethiopia.
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