Burji Online

About Us

The Burji People

The Burji people are an Ethiopian ethnic group with a rich history marked by southward migration. Their origins likely lie in the north and northeast highlands of Ethiopia. Today, you can find the Burji residing in:

  • Southern Ethiopia (Burji Zone):This is their primary homeland.
  • Northern Kenya (Marsabit County and Nairobi):A significant and growing Burji population thrives here.
  • Diaspora:Smaller communities are scattered across South Africa, USA, and the United Kingdom.

Names Referring to the Burji

The term “Burji” carries multiple meanings: It refers to the Burji people themselves. In addition, it is the name of their homeland, Burjeng Gar.

Origin of the Name Burji

  • Leader’s Name:It might be derived from “Burjie,” a leader during their southward migration.
  • Woma Burji:Another theory suggests it came from Woma Burji, who led them to their current homeland.
  • Language:It could simply refer to those who speak the Burji language.

D’aashi: Another Name With a Rich History

D’aashi is another name associated with the Burji people. It possibly stems from one of their moieties (D’aashicha and Jire Malo). Interestingly, it might also refer to a type of sorghum species, “d’ashicha,” carried by the Burji during their exodus from Liban.

Other Names

  • Bambal: A clan name within the Burji.
  • Amaro: Used by neighbors like the Borana, possibly referencing their leader during the Liban stay.
  • Koyira (Konso): The name according oral history came as a result of the route taken by the Burji when they separated from Konso at Barguda. Konso went west and Burji took North towards Kore Land. That heading towards Kore land appears to have motivated the Konso to refer to the Burji as Koyira.
  • Kore used to refer to Burji as Alga. A name that came into being because of group of Burji who came to Burji Land through Duda Kuku, Alga and Kore.

Beyond Burji and D’aashi: A Look at Burji Clans and Dialects

Internally, the Burji people have two main classifications:

  • Clans:Divided into D’aashicha and Jire Malo moieties, there are roughly 100 Burji clans in total.
  • Geographical Settlement:Based on where they live, the Burji are categorized as Gul (mainly south), Gubba (mainly central), and Shayshaye (north). These regions even have distinct dialects.

Burji in the Larger Linguistic Family

The Burji language belongs to the Highland East Cushitic family within the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family. Further, it’s classified as Southern Highland East Cushitic, alongside Sidaama and Gedeo languages.

The Burji Spirit of Enterprise

Farming is the cornerstone of the Burji way of life. Renowned for their expertise in cultivating arid lands, they significantly contribute to the region’s food security. This is particularly true for the Burji residing in the Burji Zone of Ethiopia.

While farming remains central, business is a growing trend, especially among the Burji in Kenya and some parts of Ethiopia. Additionally, livestock keeping is a way of life for many Burji living outside the Burji District in Ethiopia.

About Burji Online

Burji Online is a registered media business in Kenya with Tego Wolasa and Dawe Dambe as its directors. Dedicated to preserving Burji heritage and amplifying Burji voices, the page is run by the duo. Tego Wolasa is a historian, author, banker, entrepreneur, and lecturer. Dawe Dambe on the other hand is a teacher by profession.

Burji Online offer:

  • Data and Research Assistance:Need help finding Burji-related information? We’re here for you! Burji Online can assist with data collection and research projects. Talk to us today!
  • Burji Language Learning: Partnering with BTI College, they offer Burji language courses to ensure this rich linguistic heritage thrives.
  • Cultural Preservation:They sell books and other materials that celebrate Burji traditions and customs.

Join Burji Online as they celebrate the Burji legacy and connect with the vibrant Burji community worldwide!