Back from Harar

The last leg of my journey was Harar, a medieval city whose old city features narrow winding streets. The old city is surrounded by a wall. My guide told me that in the old days, the surrounding Oromo tribe used to raid Harar in order to abduct women for forced marriages. The Oromo were apparently more negro than the people of Harar, so they therefore coveted Harari women, who were more beautiful than their own. Both groups were mainly Muslim.

Today, Harar is a cosmopolitan city, at the crossroads between the Middle East and Africa. Its culture and traditional dress show strong Yemenite and Somali influences. It’s famous for its “chat” (or “gat”/”qat” as it’s known in the Arab world), and exports it to Djibouti, Somalia and Yemen. As in other parts of Ethiopia, Christians and Muslims live in peace. There seems to be no friction between the two groups, and they even sometimes marry each other.

Harar is also famous for the hyena feeding. This tradition, in its present form, was started by a man named Yousef around 30-35 years ago. He was featured on National Geographic. Here’s my own modest little video of this event, showing Yousef at work. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. It’s quite an experience to be face to face with these beasts.

About jewamongyou

I am a paleolibertarian Jew who is also a race-realist. My opinions are often out of the mainstream and often considered "odd" but are they incorrect? Feel free to set me right if you believe so!
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10 Responses to Back from Harar

  1. fedfef1 says:

    I don’t know how you can make that pronouncement about the Oromo vs. the Harari at all. There are over 30 million Oromo and they are the predominant ethnic group in Ethiopia. They are the people who make up the caucasoid-looking base of Ethiopia. The Harari on the other hand number only 120,000 and, going by photos, don’t seem to look any different from what you can find in most of Ethiopia. And you think a people who were mostly limited to one city in Ethiopia for most of it’s history (and still seem to be) were somehow idealized?

    • jewamongyou says:

      These things happened a long time ago; it’s very possible that things were different back then, when they built the wall. Though the Oromo are a mixed people, often resembling Caucasians, the Harar people may well have been even more so in the past. Being small in number, they would have lost that distinction over time. In any case, This is what I was told, by a local who is very well versed in Harar history and seemed to have no interest in misrepresenting things. I did change the working, in my post, to reflect that this was in the past.

      • fedfef1 says:

        I didn’t think you were of the belief east africans look the way they do because they’re mixed with arabs- I’m of the opposite, that their appearance is indigenous. But either way, while I don’t see any reason to dispute the idea the oromo kidnapped Harari women, the oromo (and for that matter the habesha, the other major ethnic group) look caucasoid enough and it’s quite a leap to claim that this is because they idealized the harari, which seems to be your speculation. Did you even see enough ethnic harari people to get the impression they look much different?

  2. fedfef1 says:

    Also, I was somewhat incorrect to say “still seem to be”- according to wikipedia, they number less than 10% of Harar now. But if that’s the case, I doubt you were able to make a proper impression of their appearance, and it’s likely that the Harari that remain are mixed.

  3. jewamongyou says:

    Re: Fedfef,

    It’s not just I who hold that belief; many Ethiopians I spoke to also believe they’re a mixed people. You’re the first one I’ve encountered who says otherwise. My assumption is that the black Africans, with whom the Semites mixed, were of the more gracile (Nilotic) type.

    No, I didn’t notice any obvious differences between native Harari people and other Ethiopians. But like I said, things may have been different in the past; I didn’t make up the story. It was a native man who told me this – and yes, he may be wrong. But it does go well with the pattern we see all over the world: That black African men will do anything to mate with Caucasian women.

  4. fedfef1 says:

    It’s not an uncommon belief that they’re indigenous, in my time reading about them. I’m somewhat more surprised to hear that they believe that themselves, but I have heard somalians say that. I can’t readily cite much offhand, but I will say their overall physical appearance (I’m talking east africans in general) doesn’t truly resemble any other caucasoid-negroid mixed people in the world, as east africans have extremes of both caucasoid and negroid phenotypes in such proportion that they are very unlikely to have arisen through the admixture degrees I’ve often seen cited.

    I again don’t dispute the man’s story, but what I do dispute is your interpretation of harari women being prized. The harari are apparently only several centuries old and their ethnic identity is originally artificial going by wikipedia (and arose through mixing between the original inhabitants of Harare and the newcomers, after their genealogies were destroyed.) This is long, long after any model that argues for the major caucasoid infusion in east africa, so it’s very doubtful the original harari people were distinct, or the oromo were any different 500 years ago. I think you are trying too hard based on scant to draw a link between this and the phenomenon you mention, and you’re pretty off the mark to lump ethiopians in with other africans- I mean, ethiopia has a history of monogamy going back ages (and marriage practices similar to europe), completely unlike the extreme polygamy in most of the rest of africa.

    • jewamongyou says:

      I’ll grant you that the origin of the Ethiopians is still a mystery to me, and I can’t debate you effectively on that. But I don’t recall lumping Ethiopians together with other Africans. If you read my posts, the comments, and my replies to the comments, you’ll see that I do just the opposite. I don’t think Ethiopians, as a group, are anything like other Africans.

      • fedfef1 says:

        I figured you don’t believe ethiopians are the same (I have indeed read your other posts and comments), but when you alluded to that phenomenon, that was the impression you gave.

        Regarding the origin of east africans, while I hate to cite Stormfront (and this guy does make the strange argument somalians are apart of a distinct “somalid” race which includes Moroccans, and no, the Morocco sample he alludes to are not somalians, it’s actually the guanches of the canary islands), it does give a brief rundown on the unique features of somalians, who can be seen as very indicative of ethiopians:

        There is also tooth size data and how they fall within caucasoid norms, not to be expected of them being a mixed population:

        It’s also my impression somalians generally have quite small, narrow faces, moreso than europeans, and through all this you’d expect somalia, being largely flatland and more accessible to outsiders than ethiopia to be more admixed and therefore not so distinct.

  5. Robert Marchenoir says:

    This guy has enough money to feed wild animals for fun ?

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