Jeronimo Lobo was a porugese missionary who came to Ethiopia in 1624. His book was written in French and Translated from the French by SAMUEL JOHNSON in 1887. He wrote this about gallas:
“These Galles lay everything where they come in ruin, putting all to the sword without distinction of age or sex; which barbarities, though their numbers are not great, have spread the terror of them over all the country. They choose a king, whom they call Lubo: every eighth year they carry their wives with them, and expose their children without any tenderness in the woods, it being prohibited, on pain of death, to take any care of those which are born in the camp. This is their way of living when they are in arms, but afterwards when they settle at home they breed up their children. They feed upon raw cow’s flesh; when they kill a cow, they keep the blood to rub their bodies with, and wear the guts about their necks for ornaments, which they afterwards give to their wives.
Several of these Galles came to see me, and as it seemed they had never beheld a white man before, they gazed on me with amazement; so strong was their curiosity that they even pulled off my shoes and stockings, that they might be satisfied whether all my body was of the same colour with my face.
He wrote also about Amaras:
“The inhabitants of the kingdom of Amhara are the most civilised and polite; and next to them the natives of Tigre, or the true Abyssins. The rest, except the Damotes, the Gasates, and the Agaus, which approach somewhat nearer to civility, are entirely rude and barbarous. Among these nations the Galles, who first alarmed the world in 1542, have remarkably distinguished themselves by the ravages they have committed, and the terror they have raised in this part of Africa. They neither sow their lands nor improve them by any kind of culture; but, living upon milk and flesh, encamp like the Arabs without any settled habitation. They practise no rites of worship, though they believe that in the regions above there dwells a Being that governs the world: whether by this Being they mean the sun or the sky is not known; or, indeed, whether they have not some conception of the God that created them. This deity they call in their language Oul. In other matters they are yet more ignorant, and have some customs so contrary even to the laws of nature, as might almost afford reason to doubt whether they are endued with reason.”
At this time amara might mean wollo’s citizen.
The book title is;A VOYAGE TO ABYSSINIA.
FATHER JEROME LOBO.
Translated from the French
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It’s sad that galla were killing ppl for fun. I remember reading this book and wishing I should have been born then or pre 17th century Ethiopia.