The Oromo people are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, also found in northern Kenya and Somalia, with an estimated total population of over 35 million.[15][16][17]


Like other ethnic groups in the Horn of Africa and East Africa, Oromo people regionally developed social stratification consisting of four hierarchical strata


According to Mohamed Eno and Abdi Kusow, the Somali caste communities are ethnically indistinguishable from each other, but upper castes have stigmatized the lower ones with mythical narratives such as they being of unholy origins or being engaged in dirty occupations.[35] The four strata social system – high lineage, low lineage, caste groups and slaves – found among the Somalis has been common in the Horn of Africa region, states Donald Levine, and is also found among ethnic groups such as Afar, Amhara, Borana, Leqa, Sidamo, Kefa, Janjero and other peoples.[36]


The Fula caste system has been fairly rigid and has medieval roots.[4] It was well established by the 15th-century, and it has survived into modern age.[80] The four major castes,states Martin Kich, in their order of status are "nobility, traders, tradesmen (such as blacksmith) and descendants of slaves".[80] According to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, the Fulani people have held on to "a strict caste system".[83]


Central to the Fulani people's lifestyle is a code of behavior known as pulaaku or laawol Fulɓe in Fulfulde, literally meaning the "Fulani pathways" which are passed on by each generation as high moral values of the Fulbe, which enable them to maintain their identity across boundaries and changes of lifestyle. Essentially viewed as what makes a person Fulani, or "Fulaniness", pulaaku consists of four basic tenets.


The dominant traits of Laawol Pulaaku or the Fulani way are munyal, hakkiilo, semteende, sagata and an intimate understanding of both the Fulfulde language and people.


Munyal is a cross between strength and courage in adversity and a stoic acceptance or endurance of the supposedly pre-ordained vicissitudes of life. It is often translated as patience.


The word hakkiilo (hakkille), meaning intelligence, foresight and common sense, conveys a blending of prudence and shrewdness in livelihood management and face-to-face encounters.


Semteende (shame) is best described both as a lacking of restraint (gacce/yaage) and self-control in daily social interaction, and evidencing a weakness when facing adversity. It is most often translated as shame. When someone acts shamefully, Fulbe say o sempti, meaning they shamed themselves, or alternatively, o walaa semteende (o wala gacce), meaning they have no shame. In other words, a pullo must know of the social constraints on behavior and be able to avoid contravening them in all situations, especially in front of others. A true fulani is in total control of his emotions and impulses.


Munyal: Patience, self-control, discipline, prudence

Gacce / Semteende: Modesty, respect for others (including foes)

Hakkille: Wisdom, forethought, personal responsibility, hospitality

Sagata / Tiinaade: Courage, hard work


To avoid equivocation with Hindu caste, I shall speak, where necessary, of "colour-castes" or "racial castes."

In most general terms, South African society consists of four racial castes, and each of those is subdivided according to the usual criteria of a Western class system. Such a description is only approximative, however, insofar as many other lines of cleavage, some hierarchical, others not, further subdivide the population. Let us begin, nevertheless, with the most important criterion of status in South Africa, namely "race." Although race gives rise to an extremely rigid division into four easily recognized colour-castes, its social definition is oddly vague. There exist numerous legal definitions of "race," adopting differing combinations of physical appearance, ancestry, association with other people, and even "reputation"; (e.g., the testimony of witnesses can be accepted as evidence concerning one's racial membership). Unlike statutes in the southern United States which gave precise definitions of Negroes as any persons having more than a specified percentage of African "blood" (1/16th, 1/32d, etc.), no such precision exists in South Africa. This lack of formal precision about the most basic single principle on which society is organized is only one of the many paradoxes of South Africa.

In practice, however, there is relatively little confusion as to who belongs to which group, except in the Cape, where a long history of miscegenation allows many light-skinned Coloureds to "play White," and where many "Whites" have "a touch of the tar brush." A number of lighter-skinned Africans can also successfully pass for Coloured, but, in the large majority of cases, physical appearance is a reliable indicator of race. The four racial groups satisfy the minimum definition of "caste" given above. They are hierarchized, almost entirely endogamous, and mobility between groups is, with a few exceptions, impossible. Let us examine each of these three characteristics in turn.

The Whites or Europeans numbering 19.4 per cent of the total population are clearly at the top of the hierarchy (Tables I and II). Not only do they enjoy a much higher standard of living,

― 54 ―

education, and health than the vast majority of the non-Whites, but they virtually monopolize all the occupations above the level of semiskilled workers; they are, for all practical purposes, the only group to have political rights, and they enjoy countless other legal and customary privileges (Tables XV, XXII, XXIII, XXIV, XXVII, and XXVIII). By comparison, all three non-White races occupy a much lower status, and the differences between the three non-White groups are smaller than those separating Europeans and non-Europeans. The Coloureds (9.4 per cent of the total population) are nearest to the Whites insofar as they suffer under fewer vexations and legal disabilities than the other non-Whites, but, in terms of education and income, they stand perhaps a little lower, on the average, than the Indians, who constitute 3 per cent of the population. Indians and Coloureds occupy thus a nearly equal position in the hierarchy between the Europeans and the Africans, but nearer the latter than the former (Tables XXII, XXIII, and XXVIII). The Africans, more commonly referred to by the Whites as "Natives" or "Bantu," number 68.2 per cent of the population and constitute the broad base of the racial pyramid (Tables I and II). Their standards of living, occupational status, and education are the lowest, and they are the target of most discrimination (Tables XXII, XXIII, and XXVIII). The three lowest colour-castes are often referred to collectively as "non-Whites" or "non-Europeans" to mark the gulf that separates them from the Whites, so that it might be more appropriate to speak of two colour-castes, the lower one subdivided into three subcastes. For purposes of simplicity, however, I shall speak of four castes.

Not only is the socio-economic gap between Whites and non-Whites wide and unbreachable, but, in some respects, the racial differential has increased until the mid-fifties, largely as a result of political restrictions. In spite of a tendency towards equalization of wages in developing economies, Africans then got a diminishing share of the National Income (less than 20 per cent), and were worse off in terms of purchasing power than before the

― 55 ―

War (Tables XXII and XXIII). Educational statistics indicate that Africans are progressing proportionately faster than Whites (Table XV), but, since the passage of the Bantu Education Act, the quality of African schooling is steadily decreasing.

Endogamy, the second essential characteristic of caste, is likewise found in the four racial groups in South Africa.[22] Since 1949 marriage between Whites and all non-Whites is forbidden under the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. There is thus complete compulsory endogamy between these two groups. Even miscegenation outside marriage is a criminal offense under the Immorality Act of 1927 as amended in 1950 and 1957. Marriages between Indians, Coloured, and Africans are legally permitted, but actually rare. The same was true of White-non-White marriages before they were forbidden. In 1946, for example, only 1 European out of 714 married outside his racial group. The corresponding figures for Coloureds, Indians, and Africans were 1 in 20, 1 in 31, and 1 in 67 respectively. Of the total number of registered marriages in 1946, only 1.38 per cent were racially exogamous.[23] Among the Europeans, there exists now, contrary to the tolerant attitude in the old Cape, a strong taboo against miscegenation, and even more so against intermarriage. In the other groups, the racial taboo is not as strong as among Whites, but other factors such as religion, language, and education level effectively hinder exogamy.

The four racial groups in South Africa also satisfy the minimum definition of caste, in that membership in them is ascribed at birth, and mobility is practically non-existent, except through surreptitious passing. The offspring of racially exogamous unions is defined at birth as Coloured, regardless of the parent groups. In fact, a number of light-skinned Coloureds manage to be accepted as Whites, and brown-skinned Africans as Coloureds. A number of first-generation Coloureds also become assimilated

― 56 ―

in the African group. The extent of passing is, of course, impossible to determine accurately or even approximately, but, while passing has probably become increasingly rare during the last decade, the racial groups today are certainly anything but "pure" after three hundred years of miscegenation. Since the genetic situation remained relatively fluid until at least the first third of the nineteenth century, one can safety estimate that anywhere from one-tenth to one-quarter of the persons classified as "White" in the Cape Province are of mixed descent, and that almost every "old family" in White Cape society has genealogical connections with Coloured families. The passage of the Population Registration Act in 1950, however, intends to eliminate passing, and to make the four castes absolutely rigid. Indeed, the Act provides for the issue of identity cards where the race of the person will be indicated. Special boards are entrusted with the task of deciding once and for all the racial membership of marginal persons who contest their classification. While the task of these boards is still far from completed,[24] mobility between the colour-castes has become virtually impossible.

Besides the properties of the racial castes already mentioned, membership in a given "race" entails many other crucial consequences. We shall come back to various aspects of colour discrimination later, but, here, we must at least enumerate the main social correlates of skin colour in South Africa. To be White entails full humanity and citizenship plus a number of special privileges restricted to the master race. All Europeans over eighteen years of age (except convicted criminals) have the franchise at all levels of government. White workers are protected from non-White competition, insofar as they detain a virtual monopoly of skilled manual jobs, as well as of higher clerical, managerial, civil service, and professional posts, at rates of pay from five to fifteen times those of unskilled non-White jobs. They have the right to organize in trade unions, to go on strike, to


The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of four previously separate British colonies: Cape Colony, Natal Colony, Transvaal Colony and Orange River Colony. It included the territories formerly part of the Boer republics annexed in 1902, South African Republic and Orange Free State.


At the close of the Anglo-Boer War in 1902, the four colonies were for the first time under a common flag, and the most significant obstacle which had prevented previous plans at unification had been removed. Hence the long-standing desire of many colonial administrators to establish a unified structure became feasible.


Settlements in modern Guinea and Nigeria's Ondo State failed within a year; those in Cameroon, Namibia, Tanzania and Togo quickly grew into successful colonies. Together these four territories constituted Germany's African presence in the age of New Imperialism. They were invaded and largely occupied by the colonial forces of the Allied Powers during World War I, and in 1919 were transferred from German control by the League of Nations and divided between Belgium, France, Portugal, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Khoisan was proposed as one of the four families of African languages in Greenberg's classification (1949–1954, revised in 1963)

Greenberg grouped the hundreds of African languages into four families, which he dubbed Afroasiatic, Nilo-Saharan, Niger–Congo, and Khoisan. In the course of his work, Greenberg coined the term "Afroasiatic" to replace the earlier term "Hamito-Semitic", after showing that racially based Hamitic, widely accepted since the 19th century, is not a valid language family. Another major feature of his work was to support the classification of the Bantu languages, which occupy much of sub-Saharan Africa, as a branch of the Niger–Congo language family, rather than as an independent family as many Bantuists had maintained.


In contrast, some linguists have sought to combine Greenberg's four African families into larger units. In particular, Edgar Gregersen (1972) proposed joining Niger–Congo and Nilo-Saharan into a larger family, which he termed Kongo-Saharan. Roger Blench (1995) suggests Niger–Congo is a subfamily of Nilo-Saharan.



The first 16 regions were established in 1997;[1] at the time, they supplanted the departments as the first-level administrative subdivisions of the country, with the departments being converted into second-level subdivisions. In 2000, four of the regions were divided to create three more regions, bringing the total to 19.

The regions of Uganda are known as Central, Western, Eastern, and Northern. These four regions are in turn divided into districts. There were 56 districts in 2002,[1] which expanded into 111 districts plus one city (Kampala) by 2010.[2]


When Belgium annexed the Belgian Congo as a colony in 1908, it was initially organized into 22 districts. Ten western districts were administered directly by the main colonial government, while the eastern part of the colony was administered under two vice-governments: eight northeastern districts formed Orientale Province, and four southeastern districts formed Katanga. In 1919, the colony was organized into four provinces


The canopic jars were four in number, each for the safekeeping of particular human organs: the stomach, intestines, lungs, and liver, all of which, it was believed, would be needed in the afterlife. There was no jar for the heart: the Egyptians believed it to be the seat of the soul, and so it was left inside the body.[n 1]



Hieroglyphs for the four sons of Horus used on an Egyptian canopic jar

The design of canopic jars changed over time. The oldest date from the Eleventh or the Twelfth dynasty, and are made of stone or wood.[6] The last jars date from the New Kingdom. In the Old Kingdom the jars had plain lids, though by the First Intermediate Period jars with human heads (assumed to represent the dead) began to appear.[1] Sometimes the covers of the jars were modeled after (or painted to resemble) the head of Anubis, the god of death and embalming. By the late Eighteenth dynasty canopic jars had come to feature the four sons of Horus.[7] Many sets of jars survive from this period, in alabaster, aragonite, calcareous stone, and blue or green glazed porcelain.[6] The sons of Horus were also the gods of the cardinal compass points.[8] Each god was responsible for protecting a particular organ, and was himself protected by a companion goddess. They were:


Hapi, the baboon-headed god representing the north, whose jar contained the lungs and was protected by the goddess Nephthys

Duamutef, the jackal-headed god representing the east, whose jar contained the stomach and was protected by the goddess Neith

Imsety, the human-headed god representing the south, whose jar contained the liver and was protected by the goddess Isis

Qebehsenuef, the falcon-headed god representing the west, whose jar contained the intestines and was protected by the goddess Serqet.[9]


Division and civil war[edit]

King Andriamasinavalona quartered the kingdom to be ruled by his four favourite sons, producing persistent fragmentation and warfare between principalities in Imerina. He extended the borders of the kingdom to their largest historical extent prior to the kingdom's fragmentation.[citation needed]




King Andrianampoinimerina (ca. 1787–1810)

It was from this context in 1787 that Prince Ramboasalama, nephew of King Andrianjafy of Ambohimanga (one of the four kingdoms of Imerina) expelled his uncle and took the throne under the name Andrianampoinimerina. The new king used both diplomacy and force to reunite Imerina with the intent to bring all of Madagascar under his rule.


Andriamanelo was reportedly the first to formally establish the andriana as a caste of Merina nobles, thereby laying the foundation for a stratified and structured society.[21] From this point forward, the term Hova was used to refer only to the non-noble free people of the society which would later be renamed Merina by Andriamanelo's son Ralambo.[8] The first sub-divisions of the andriana noble caste were created when Ralambo split it into four ranks.[13]


King Andriamanelo[21] (1540–1575) is credited with establishing the Andriana as a separate class in early Merina society. This class was sub-divided into four groups by his son, the King Ralambo[23] (1575–1600):


Andriantompokoindrindra, the Eldest son of the King Ralambo and his direct descendants,

Zanadralambo amin'Andrianjaka, the other sons of the King Ralambo.

Andrianamboninolona, the uncle of the King Ralambo and his direct descendants.

Andriandranando, the great-uncle of the King Ralambo and his direct descendants.


Andriamasinavalona: Noble descendants of the four sons of King Andriamasinavalona who were not assigned to rule one of the four sub-divisions of Imerina that had been made the fiefs of his other four sons.


This process is then repeated to all the new lines until there is only one column left (the bottom column, 0110 in the example). We now have a complete Sikidy tableau and what is left is the interpretation: each of the sixteen binary values has its own meaning, and each of the "memory slots" also has a designated meaning. The Sikidy system was also adopted by Arabs (under the name of "ilm al-raml", "the science of sand"), and from Arabs it even transferred to Europe in the middle ages.


In Europe, it was known as "Arabic geomancy", a small branch of Arabic occultism.


All kinds of freaks extended to system to include relationships with astrology, numerology, tarot and other things. Our Daughter-Sikidy (placed to the left of the Mother-Sikidy) is therefore: 0110, 1101, 0000, and 0111. The rest is pure binary arithmetic. The columns below the Mother-Sikidy and Daughter-Sikidy are formed by eXclusive-ORing each pair of columns: 1010 XOR 1001 = 0011, 1011 XOR 0010 = 1001, etc.


This process is then repeated to all the new lines until there is only one column left (the bottom column, 0110 in the example). We now have a complete Sikidy tableau and what is left is the interpretation: each of the sixteen binary values has its own meaning, and each of the "memory slots" also has a designated meaning. The Sikidy system


The Afar speech is classified as a separate language in the Eastern Cushite group. It is most closely related to Saho (Ethiopia and Eritrea), and more distantly related to the Somali and Oromo groups of languages. Linguists generally identify four distinct dialects of Afar, Northern Central, Aussa and Baadu.


Literacy rate in Afar is only about 1%; in Amharic (in Ethiopia) perhaps 3%. In Sudan and Eritrea, Sudanese Arabic is used with neighbours and trading partners.


Political Situation:

The Afar maintain a loose confederation of four "sultanates." Rather than being hereditary sultantates, each sultan is appointed by the people, but reportedly is chosen from alternating segments in each of the four sections of the Afar.


The four sultanates are Aussa (also Asayita or Asaita) and Biru in Ethiopia, and Tajoura and Raheito in Djibouti. One older source reports a fifth sultantate, Gobad in Djibouti. The Sultan is the religious, as well as the political, leader of his clan of the Afar. Some sources report that there were traditionally eight sultanates, that than four.


Within traditional Amharic society and that of other local Afro-Asiatic-speaking populations, there were four basic strata. According to the Ethiopianist Donald Levine, these consisted of high-ranking clans, low-ranking clans, caste groups (artisans), and slaves.[48][49] Slaves were at the bottom of the hierarchy, and were primarily drawn from the pagan Nilotic Shanqella groups. Also known as the barya (meaning "slave" in Amharic), they were captured during slave raids in Ethiopia's southern hinterland. War captives were another source of slaves, but the perception, treatment and duties of these prisoners was markedly different.[50] According to Donald Levine, the widespread slavery in Greater Ethiopia formally ended in the 1930s, but former slaves, their offspring, and de facto slaves continued to hold similar positions in the social hierarchy.[33]

Four of the South African Bantustans—TranskeiBophuthatswanaVenda, and Ciskei (the so-called "TBVC States")—were declared independent, but this was not recognised outside of South Africa. Other South African Bantustans (like KwaZuluLebowa, and QwaQwa) received partial autonomy but were never granted independence. In South West Africa, OvambolandKavangoland, and East Caprivi were granted self-determination. The Bantustans were abolished with the end of apartheid and re-joined South Africa proper in 1994.


It was by far the largest of South Africa's four provinces, as it contained regions it had previously annexed, such as British Bechuanaland (not to be confused with the Bechuanaland Protectorate, now Botswana), Griqualand East (the area around Kokstad) and Griqualand West (area around Kimberley). As a result, it encompassed two-thirds of South Africa's territory, and covered an area similar in size to the U.S. state of Texas.

At the time of the formation of the Union of South Africa, the entire region now called South Africa was only four provinces: Transvaal (South African Republic), Natal (Natalia Republic), Orange Free State and the Cape Province.


The Dutch Cape Colony was divided into four districts:[4]

District1797 population

District of the Cape18,152

District of Stellenbosch and Drakenstein22,959

District of Zwellendam6,663

District of Graaff Reynet14,173


  • Matthew Goniwe (1947–1985) Well known teacher and political activist in South Africa. His political involvement led to his arrest and conviction in 1977 under the Suppression of Communism Act and he was sentenced to 4 years in Prison. He taught at a local school in 1982. On 27 June 1985 Goniwe and 3 other activists, Fort Calata, Sparrow Mkonto and Sicelo Mhlauli who became known as the "Cradock Four" were killed and mutilated by unnamed members of the Security Forces.[9]



Greenberg's four families became the dominant conception of African languages, though his subclassification did not fare as well. Niger−Congo and Afroasiatic are nearly universally accepted, with no significant support for Hamitic or the independence of Bantu. Nilo-Saharan is still considered provisional. Khoisan is now rejected by specialists, except as a term of convenience, though it may be retained in less specialized literature.



The book classifies Africa's languages into four stocks not presumed to be related to each other, as follows:


In the late 1870s another series of armed conflicts occurred in Oregon and Idaho, spreading east into Wyoming and Montana. The Nez Perce War of 1877 is known particularly for Chief Joseph and the four-month, 1,200-mile fighting retreat of a band of about 800 Nez Perce, including women and children. As with the other wars in the Pacific Northwest, the Nez Perce War was caused by a large influx of settlers, the appropriation of Indian lands, and a gold rush—this time in Idaho. The Nez Perce engaged 2,000 American soldiers of different military units, as well as their Indian auxiliaries. The Nez Perce fought "eighteen engagements, including four major battles and at least four fiercely contested skirmishes".[26] Although finally defeated and captured, Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce were much admired for their conduct in the war and their fighting ability.[27]